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The IMO has accused the Government of betraying the country’s patients and its medical workforce by imposing and maintaining austerity-era cuts that are having a direct impact on patient care and working conditions for doctors across all specialties.
The IMO issued the statement before its appearance the Oireachtas Committee on Health and has outlined three major contributing factors to the patient and medical manpower crisis. They are:
- An absence of planning and investment for the number of doctors required to meet the health needs of a changing demographic of patients;
- A poorly resourced health service and a hostile, overly-pressurised work environment which is leading to high levels of emigration of doctors; and
- Failure to make our Public Health Services an employer of choice for medical professionals, and a culture of disrespect of doctors by employer and Government
Dr Padraig McGarry, President of the IMO, said that these failures were an indictment on the Government, and needed to be reversed as a matter of urgency: “The IMO consistently warned that austerity-era cuts would have a severely negative effect on the health service, and it gives us no pleasure to see the results of those Government decisions.”
Dr McGarry said that doctors wanted to provide the best care for patients, but were unable to do so at present in Ireland. “Patients are suffering every day because of Government choices. If the Government is serious about reforming our health service, there are a number of steps that need to be taken immediately,” he said.
“The unfair 30 per cent pay disparity between consultants needs to be abolished; we need more investment in General Practice; we need modernised training to reflect changing practices and demographics; we need to address the significant shortage of higher specialists; and the Crowe Horwath Report must be implemented.”