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“It is very unfortunate that Dr Hogan and Dr McDermott were forced to the steps of the High Court to have their contract terms honoured,” said Mr Martin Varley, Secretary General of the IHCA.
According to the IHCA as a consequence of the HSE’s decision, the EAT determinations must now be implemented in full by the Executive including the payment of the salary deductions.
Mr Varley also highlighted the Association’s wider concerns over the 2008 Consultant contract.
“The persistent and repeated refusal of the HSE to honour the 2008 Consultant Contracts has seriously undermined trust between hospital consultants and the HSE,” said Mr Varley.
“And [it] is one of the key reasons that the Irish health service is experiencing an unprecedented medical brain drain.
“Today there are over 400 vacant permanent consultant posts in the Irish health service which is undermining the quality and safety of patient care, increasing delays in providing care and is leading to longer waiting lists.”
Meanwhile the IMO reacted to the decision by calling on the Minister for Health to confirm that he “plans to restore unpaid monies to all consultants whose incomes were impacted by the unilateral decision of a previous Minister to withhold payments contractually due to consultants”.
“The cynical breach of contractual arrangements which had been hard won fostered a deep sense of alienation amongst Consultants who took the then Minister at her word and agreed to a change of contract only on the basis of clearly spelt out commitments,” said Dr Peadar Gilligan, Chairman of the Consultants Committee of the IMO.
“These commitments were then torn up by the Minister and it had a deeply damaging impact on our members. This whole mess contributed very significantly to the morale crisis which is now seen in the near 400 empty consultant posts across the country.”