Irish Medical Organisation

IMO AGM to focus on urgent need for investment in health services

IMO AGM to focus on urgent need for investment in health services
 Conference theme is Dying for Investment
Friday 21st April 2017.  The AGM of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) kicks off today (Friday) in Galway.  The AGM will be attended by Doctors from across the country including GPs, NCHDs, Consultants and Public Health and Community Medicine doctors.  The Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, will address the AGM on Saturday.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Dying for Investment” and many of the debates and sessions will focus on the need for a radical increase in investment in health services to bring an end to the continuing cycle of overcrowding and long waiting lists.
During the conference, Doctors will be calling for new contracts and increased resources to stem the tide of increasing emigration amongst Irish doctors. 
·         Consultants will be calling for an end to the practice of paying new consultants lower salaries than existing consultants are earning – a practice which is being linked with the inability of the HSE to fill as many as 400 empty consultant posts across the country.  Consultants will also be challenging the repeated failure of the Government to honour the agreed terms of the existing Consultant Contract.
·         GPs will be hearing of developments in negotiations over a new GP Contract and calling for some immediate investment in General Practice which has been decimated in recent years.
·         NCHDs will be calling on the Government to demonstrate commitment to address the issue of training supports and a new NCHD contract.
Speaking today incoming President, Dr. Ann Hogan, said that the conference was taking place at a time of enormous challenge across the health services; “we need a step change in the level of funding that goes to health services in Ireland.  We have endured almost a decade of austerity and resources have been cut to the bone even as demand for services and patient numbers have increased dramatically.  Our message to Government is that as our population ages and we have to deal with more people living longer but often needing expensive healthcare along the way, that we now need to radically increase the level of spending on health care.”
Dr. Hogan said that the conference would also seek to focus attention on the high level of emigration amongst young, newly qualified doctors; “too many of our youngest and brightest doctors are emigrating to practice abroad.  They are being driven away from this country by poor working conditions and uncompetitive pay levels.”

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