Our #standingUP4NCHDs campaign and the ballot for industrial action has been extremely successful in bringing NCHD working hours and toxic working conditions to the forefront in terms of media and political commentary and we are so appreciative of all those NCHDs who have been willing to share their personal experiences on both national and social media. In the last week NCHD voices were heard across the media and most powerfully on Prime Time last night where the reasons for doctor emigration could not have been clearer. The Minister for Health acknowledges the issues but we are long past time for real, meaningful and progressive solutions to be put in place.
The IMO and your national NCHD Committee have been engaged in intensive negotiations with the Department of Health and the HSE in recent months. Given the scale of the problems faced by NCHDs these negotiations have been challenging but we remain resolute. As indicated last week the NCHD Committee has met to consider if the current proposals, including a commitment to a new NCHD Contract, are sufficient to address the immediate issues for NCHDs.
Following detailed review of the negotiations we strongly believe that while the talks have delivered progress in some areas, it is not enough to satisfy us across the issues on which we balloted and we have agreed that a short, sharp further engagement with the employer side will take place next week to see if outstanding matters can be progressed.
We are acutely aware that no doctor wants to take industrial action but if forced to we will have no choice.
As always we could only have come this far with your support for the work of the IMO to improve the working lives of NCHDs.