Sign up now for ease of access to The Medical Independent, Ireland’s most frequently published medical newspaper, delivering award-winning news and investigative reporting.

  • receive the eCopy two days prior to the printed edition.
  • can partake in our online MCQs.
  • can enter our online sports quiz. is Ireland's only investigative medical news website for doctors, healthcare professionals and anyone with an interest in health issues.

Established in 2010, along with its sister publication The Medical Independent, our stated aim is to investigate and analyse the major issues affecting healthcare and the medical profession in Ireland. The Medical Independent has won a number of awards for its investigative journalism, and its stories are frequently picked up by national digital, broadcast and print media. The Medical Independent is published by GreenCross Publishing.

Address: Top Floor, 111 Rathmines Road Lr, Dublin 6

Tel: 353 (01) 441 0024

GreenCross Publishing is owned by Graham Cooke.

Questions remain following pay review

By Mindo - 11th Sep 2018 | 43 views

The report of the Commission was eagerly awaited by stakeholders and was finally published last week. The fact that a body created to investigate pay did not think that pay was the key factor in recruitment difficulties understandably grabbed headlines, but, as ever with the health service, there are many nuances too.

With respect to consultants, the Commission does acknowledge the differential between the pay of new entrants and established consultants is greater than for other categories of public servant. The Commission believes that the implementation of the settlement of the 2008 Consultant Contract claim will further widen this pay differential. The Commission proposes that consideration needs to be given on what further measures could be taken to address the gap. Variation across certain specialties and locations suggests that there is a more significant problem recruiting in certain specialties and in certain locations. Additionally, the appointment of non-specialists to consultant posts was found to be a strong indication of recruitment challenges.

While the Commission points out there has been an increase in consultant numbers of 33 per cent from 2007 to 2017, it also finds the difference between serving numbers and the establishment number has declined, from a surplus of 41 in 2007, to a deficit of 169 in 2017. According to the report, this also suggests difficulties in filling approved positions.

A troubling aspect of the report was the Commission’s statement that it could not make a “definite conclusion” in respect of the retention of consultants due to the absence of good-quality data from employers. This echoes remarks by Dr Gabriel Scally about the difficulty in obtaining information from the HSE for his CervicalCheck Inquiry.

The Commission’s report was intended to provide definitive answers on what has been a long-running problem in the Irish health service. However, the Commission’s ability to provide those answers has been hampered by data deficits that continue to make the workforce planning efforts for the health service less than ideal. Although medical unions might have been hoping for something stronger, at least the report does point a way forward for doctors and means that the new-entrant salary controversy remains on the political agenda.

Leave a Reply

Latest Issue
The Medical Independent 19th May 2022

You need to be logged in to access this content. Please login or sign up using the links below.

Most Read