Irish Medical Organisation

Marking 10th anniversary of pay cut for new consultants

“10 years on from the announcement of the 30% consultant pay cut we have over 900 vacant consultant posts and as a direct consequence a shocking waiting list crisis for patients.” – Professor Matthew Sadlier


Sunday 18th September 2022.  Ten years ago this weekend, the then Minister for Health James Reilly announced a government policy to cut the pay of new hospital consultants by 30%.  The decision announced on 17th September 2012 created a two-tier salary system for consultants in public hospitals and was roundly condemned at the time by the Irish Medical Organisation who warned that it would lead to a recruitment crisis that would have a devasting impact on patients. 

Speaking today Professor Matthew Sadlier of the Irish Medical Organisation Consultant Committee said that the decision taken 10 years ago was one of the most damaging decisions taken in respect of health policy by any Government; “the consequences have been entirely negative and are demonstrated most clearly by the fact that we have almost 900 vacant or temporarily filled consultant posts and dangerously long waiting lists which are causing significant risks for patients and negative health outcomes.  This policy has been a disaster for our patients and our health services.  We simply do not have enough consultants to meet the need of patients in a timely manner.”

Over the past ten years, successive Health Ministers have committed to ending the discriminatory pay cut but nothing has been done and the inevitable consequence of the policy continues today.

The IMO has campaigned since 2012 for the end of this two-tier system and calls on Government to implement a fair and equitable policy of equal pay for equal work.     

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