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The Organisation, which recently issued a ballot for industrial action to all specialists in public health medicine, has called on the Government to address the pay disparity and to publish the Crowe Howarth Review into Public Health.
The IMO is seeking consultant status for all specialists in public health medicine to eliminate the pay inequality.
The union said it is hopeful the review recommends consultant status for specialists in public health medicine. It has called for a “detailed plan of engagement” with health officials on the review.
Three years ago, the IMO calculated that specialist-trained public health doctors earned 58 per cent of other specialist colleagues, but this has now reduced to 44 per cent.
Mr Val Moran, IMO Director of Industrial Relations, General Practice, Public and Community Health, told the Medical Independent (MI) that public health specialists earn just 61 per cent of the final point of the new-entrant consultant pay grade.
In April, Minister for Health Simon Harris had told the IMO the report would be published in the near future.
In September, UK public health doctor Dr Gabriel Scally wrote in his scoping inquiry into the CervicalCheck programme: “The time has surely come where public health physicians are accorded the same recognition as clinical colleagues and their skills deployed at the core of all public health programmes. I hope that movement on this matter can take place in the near future”.
All ballot papers are due to be returned by 12 December. In the event that members support industrial action, and unless the demands sought by members are met by Government, industrial action will begin in January.
An out-of-hours work to rule is scheduled to run from Monday, 14 January to Sunday, 27 January.
From 28 January, members will withdraw from the out-of-hours service for the week and from 11 February onwards, full withdrawal from out-of-hours services will occur.
A Department of Health spokesperson confirmed the review was completed in April. They said work on the Department’s position was continuing.
“In advance of publication, work is currently being progressed in relation to the Department’s position on the report and this will be finalised by the end of the year.”