Intern induction pay depends on ‘existing resources’ — Department of Health

Catherine Reilly | 07 Feb 2019 | 0 Comment(s)

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Medical interns should be paid for induction periods but any “change in policy” needs to be delivered “within existing resources”, the Department of Health has informed the HSE.

In correspondence seen by the Medical Independent (MI) following a Freedom of Information request to the HSE, Clinical Lead of the Medical Intern Unit, HSE, Dr Gozie Offiah, wrote in August to Assistant Secretary at the Department’s National Human Resources (HR) Division, Ms Teresa Cody, seeking approval in principle for the introduction of payment for induction periods.

Attendance at induction was mandatory for medical interns and yet they were not paid for this time, noted Dr Offiah, who added that this situation applied to “no other group of HSE employees”.

In response, Ms Cody stated that the Department’s National HR unit believed an individual required by their employer to attend work would be entitled to payment.

However, the matter had implications “beyond” HSE National Doctors Training and Planning or National HR.

Ms Cody advised that a policy position should be developed at HSE corporate level and sent to the HSE Leadership Team.

Any “change in policy would need to be delivered within existing resources available to the Executive”.

Minutes of a Medical Intern Board meeting in September referred to plans for five days of paid induction for interns, “which is intended to be formalised across the six networks, beginning in July 2019”.

A HSE spokesperson told MI the National HR Director supports paying NCHDs for induction. They said this “must be considered in the context of the overall funded 2019 Service Plan”.

It is planned to standardise intern induction to a “mandatory six days”.

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