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Call for improved NCHD rota system and contract review at national meeting

The meeting passed a motion calling on the HSE to provide NCHDs with four weeks’ notice of their initial roster.

The HSE is contractually required to provide two weeks’ notice of the first NCHD roster of their rotation, but IMO members said this is not always happening.

“I have been a doctor for nine months now and have never had a rota with two weeks’ notice,” said Dr Neasa Conneally, “so four weeks would be great.”

NCHD Committee Chairperson Dr Paddy Hillery told the meeting that NCHDs were not working normal nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday jobs.

“It is important that you are given proper notice, that they [HSE] take your life into account,” he said.

Also at the National NCHD Meeting, former IMO President Dr John Duddy said it was time for a review of the NCHD contract.

He recalled how the previous contract emerged eight years ago after long meetings and threats of industrial action.

“That is not the way we want to negotiate a new contract,” said Dr Duddy.

“Nobody here wants to go through that again with a year-long process; that was extremely stressful for everyone involved. A more constructive way of doing it would be to institute a more formal review with our employer.”

The meeting passed a motion calling for a contract review.

“This is what we want to be engaging on, what we want to be doing,” said Dr Hillery.

“As a union, we do not want to be dragging people out on the streets to get the basic improvements that we all agree are necessary. We want to engage proactively with our employers and work for the betterment of our patients and our practice.”

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