Statement by Irish Medical Organisation: IMO warns of crisis as doctors vote to reject proposals on pay and career structures.
Friday 31st October 2014. Members of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) have voted to reject proposals put forward by health service management on Pay and Career Structures for New Entrant Consultants. The proposals were rejected in a ballot of IMO newly appointed consultants and NCHD members which concluded today. The result of the ballot was that the proposals were rejected by a margin of 83% to 17%.
Speaking today Steve Tweed, Director of IR at the IMO, said that the rejection of the proposals was not a surprise; “we repeatedly warned the HSE that the proposals put forward by management through the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) were insufficient to secure the support of our members and would in fact still amount to a two-tier system of pay for consultants working side-by-side and doing exactly the same work with the same level of responsibility. The Government ignored the fundamental principle of equal pay for equal work and now must deal with the consequences of up to 300 vacant consultant posts across the Irish hospital system. A number that is set to rise over the coming months.”
Mr Tweed continued; “This ballot must be a wake up call for the Minister for Health and the HSE. We should be appointing highly trained Irish doctors to these posts and not effectively forcing them to work abroad in hospitals where they are valued more and can deliver care in a properly structured and resourced environment.”
Mr Tweed said that the Minister now needed to sit down with the IMO to reconsider the options; “The unilateral pay cut of 30% imposed on new entrant consultants has caused an inequity and manpower crisis which has gone on too long without a credible solution being put forward by the health service management. If we lose this generation of consultants we may never replace them and our health services will be much the poorer for decades to come.”