IMO President accuses Government of being “anti-Doctor and, in particular, anti-Consultant”
Launches new campaign to “Fight for Fairness” for Consultants
Thursday 28th March 2019. The President of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has accused the Government of being “anti-Doctor and in particular anti-Consultant”.
Dr. Peadar Gilligan said that the persistence of the two-tier pay policy under which Consultants recruited after 2012 are paid 30% less than Consultants recruited before that date reflected a deeper “anti-senior specialist” agenda in Government and was directly linked to the inability of the HSE to hire Consultants for critical posts around the country. There are 500 vacant Consultant positions at present in Ireland.
Speaking today Dr. Gilligan, said that IMO would intensify efforts to get the Government to reverse this policy. A new campaign - Fight for Fairness - will see the IMO highlight the inequity of paying people different rates of pay for doing the same job.
Dr. Gilligan said that the it is now seven months since the Public Service Pay Commission highlighted the two tier pay scale as a key reason why Consultant posts remain unfilled. The Commission acknowledged that the differential was higher amongst Consultants than amongst any other category of workers in the public sector.
“Five months ago, the Minister for Health said that he would sit down and address new entrant consultant contracts, but he has yet to do so. We want those talks to commence immediately so that we can sort out the recruitment crisis which is directly linked to the appalling waiting lists facing patients across the country.”
Dr. Gilligan said that the IMO had recently surveyed Consultants on the issue and 97% of Consultants surveyed by the IMO said that they felt that recruitment difficulties were a direct result of the 2012 pay cut. 83% of Consultants surveyed said that the 2012 pay cut had a detrimental impact on patient care. To be absolutely clear this means that the vast majority of senior medical and surgical specialists in Ireland believe our failure to recruit Consultants is making Irish Hospitals more unsafe. The Doctors of the IMO are saying to Government you caused this recruitment crisis, you have compromised patient care, now you need to fix it by reversing the 30% pay cut as a matter of urgency.
“It is time for the government to sit down with consultants to earnestly discuss pay restoration for post-2012 consultants. These cuts were a retrograde step and have set medical recruitment back years in Ireland.”
“The doctors that we need to fill these specialist posts are out there, but they are in Australia, the United Kingdom, America, New Zealand and Canada where Consultant pay has not been cut and where health care is far better resourced than in Ireland.”