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DoH ‘open to engaging’ on consultant contract

The Department of Health has said it is “open to engaging” on the Sláintecare draft consultant contract, “subject to the policy positions” adopted by Government. A Department spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI) that while the “contract is a new contract it does contain significant elements from the previously agreed type A contract, amended to provide for public-only practice in accordance with Government decisions and to provide for a number of other changes to reflect updated HR policies and public service agreements”.

The IMO stated it has “serious reservations” about the draft contract it received from the Department at the end of last month, while the 49-page document has sparked objections from consultants on Twitter. Many of the consultants have raised issues such as intellectual property, their role in patient advocacy, and terms and conditions around work location.

Last month, MI reported that the IHCA and IMO had significant concerns over the way the new draft contract had been presented to them by the Department and HSE at their initial meeting in early May. Since then, the Department has provided a draft contract dated 31 May.

“The IMO has received a draft Sláintecare contract and we are currently consulting with both consultants and NCHDs as to the terms of this contract and we have serious reservations about the very significant changes in work practices being sought by the Department and the HSE,” said the IMO’s spokesperson.

The union said it is willing to engage “in a substantive and meaningful way” with the objective of ensuring a proposal capable of addressing “the crisis situation in consultant recruitment and retention and ultimately deliver better services to patients”.

Last month, an IHCA spokesperson said it remained “open to further engagement on these issues, but based on our initial engagement, this regrettably seems to be nothing more than a box-ticking exercise on the part of Government”.

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