Irish Medical Organisation

IMO Votes in Favour of Ballot for Industrial Action

Friday, November 8th, 2019. The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) Council has voted in favour of organising a ballot of its Consultant and Non-Consultant Hospital Doctor (NCHD) members to undertake industrial action in support of Consultant pay equality.

 The decision to hold a ballot was unanimously supported by a national meeting of IMO consultants and NCHD members on Wednesday evening in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Stillorgan, Dublin.

 This decision will escalate the IMO’s #FightForFairness campaign to bring pressure to bear on the Government to seriously address the Consultant recruitment and retention crisis.

The vote allows the IMO to undertake a ballot of its Consultant and NCHD members in the coming weeks, to seek approval for measures up to and including industrial action in pursuit of their claims.

 The IMO’s key demands are as follows:

1. An immediate end to the pay inequality faced by Consultants which is based solely on when they were appointed;


2. An immediate increase in the number of Consultants employed in our health system in line with recommended ratios

Speaking after the meeting, Dr. Clive Kilgallen, Chairman of the IMO Consultants’ Committee, said: “This vote emphasises the frustration and anger that Consultants and NCHDs feel regarding the state of the health service in 2019. Doctors never want to undertake industrial action, but this Government’s lack of engagement leaves us with no option. Our health service has been crippled by this Government’s appalling policy decisions, leaving patients suffering in badly under-staffed and under-resourced hospitals. We need meaningful reform now.”

Dr. Matthew Sadlier, a member of the IMO Consultants’ Committee and a former President of the IMO, said: “This crisis is a direct result of the decision by the Government in 2012 to enforce a pay disparity of over 30% among Consultants based solely on when they were appointed. The IMO has spent years warning the Government that this would have significant consequences, but regrettably it has not listened.”

Dr. Anthony O’Connor, a member of the IMO Consultants’ Committee, said: “This week, hospitals recorded the second-highest ever level of patients on trolleys and we currently have 770,000 patients on hospital waiting lists. How can the Government stand by doing nothing while this is happening? We must see urgent action on this issue.”

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