Irish Medical Organisation

New IMO President warns of “crisis of morale” in health services

Sunday 12th April 2015. The new President of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), Dr. Ray Walley, has said that there is a “crisis of morale” in the health services which is influencing the decisions of young doctors to emigrate for work abroad. Dr. Walley said that many young doctors were emigrating because “their work is undervalued, there are insufficent resources to enable them to do their jobs properly, their remuneration is uncompetitive and their prospects are underwhelming”. He said that tackling the crisis of morale must be an urgent priority.

Dr. Walley was speaking after taking office as President of the IMO on Saturday evening at the Organisation’s AGM in Kilkenny.

Addressing members of the organisation and special guests including the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, Dr. Walley said that the IMO would begin a campaign immediately to prioritise the issue of health for the next General Election. The organisation launched a manifesto, 2020 Vision for Health, at the AGM and will engage with each of the political parties and groupings over the coming months to promote the steps it believes are necessary to address problems in the health services.

Dr. Walley said; “the next Government will preside over a critical period for the health services when we will have a real opportunity to reverse the impact of years of cutbacks. We have to get it right and we will be campaigning to make sure that all the parties and any grouping which hopes to form a part of the next Government understands what steps need to be taken and prioritised in the health services.”

Welcoming the Minister for Health to the AGM, Dr. Walley said that he believed the Minster was a man with whom the IMO could work to advance change and make progress in the health services. He said that the agreement reached this week between the IMO and the Department of Health and the HSE on GP issues (including the provision of free GP care for children unde the age of 6) would herald a new era of engagement on health services reform; “Our right to represent our members as a Trade Union has been vindicated and we’ve demonstrated that a negotiated solution is aways better than an imposed solution. This week’s agreement is not perfect but it does mark the start of a period of significant investment in General Practice and the end of a cycle of cuts for the first time in many years.”

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