IMO calls on Minister for Health to declare a manpower emergency in the health services
“The Government has shown more concern over one emigrating boxing coach than over over a generation of emigrating doctors"
Friday 23rd October 2015. The President of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), Dr. Ray Walley, has called on the Minister for Health to declare a manpower emergency in the health services and to undertake an overhaul of recruitment policy with the aim of encouraging Irish doctors now working abroad to return. Dr. Walley said that the move would require an overhaul of pay structures for new consultants and a new contract for GP s.
Dr. Walley said that the Government has shown more concern over one emigrating boxing coach than it has shown over a generation of emigrating doctors; “You have to question our priorities as a nation when the Government can respond with such speed and decisiveness over an emigrating boxing coach but is paralysed when it comes to preventing the forced emigration of thousands of desperately needed Irish doctors.”
Dr. Walley said that manpower crisis was now endemic across the medical specialities; “this week we learnt of a shortfall of up to 1,380 in our GP numbers. Today we learnt that one consultant in Cork is doing the work of 4 because his colleagues are not there. A week ago we learnt that only 22% of NCHDS are committing to staying in the country and there are almost 300 vacant consultant posts across Irish hospitals. This is now an emergency and needs to be addressed as such by our politicians."
Dr. Walley said that patient health was being directly impacted by the lack of manpower; “patients are facing longer lists, being seen by exhausted doctors and experiencing poorer outcomes than the deserve because of this crisis."