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IMO concerned at discrepancy between HSE’s EWTD figures and ‘reality’

The IMO’s most recent survey of NCHDs and European Working Time Directive (EWTD) compliance across the hospital system has found significantly different results from official HSE figures.

Mr Paul Maier, IMO Industrial Relations Officer, told the Medical Independent (MI) that the union is assessing its most recent results from the survey, which is sent to all NCHDs. The questions relate to hours worked by NCHDs in September.

“We had about 300 responses over the course of that week, and in those responses, about half of those respondents had informed us that they had at one point [during the previous month] worked more than 24 hours consecutively,” Mr Maier told MI.

“Essentially that is the most recent data we have and we compared it to September data, which was recently released by the HSE, where the HSE reported that 98 per cent of all NCHDs did not work more than 24 hours in a row in September.

“If the HSE is saying that 98 per cent of NCHDs are compliant and our survey is saying roughly 50 per cent are compliant, it makes us believe that there may be a discrepancy between the HSE’s numbers and the reality actually lived on the ground.”

He noted that the IMO had conducted some “on-site inspections over the last year [and the IMO found that] the EWTD compliance reports are in some cases prepared using the rosters for NCHDs, not the hourly reports provided by the NCHDs for the purpose of payment.”

Dr Charles Goh, Anesthesiology Registrar and member of the IMO NCHD committee, told this newspaper that he had concerns over the accuracy of the EWTD “reporting mechanisms used by the various hospitals”. See medicine and sleep feature

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