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The IMO is seeking a meeting with the HSE’s Chief Clinical Officer with regard to the structural reforms for public health and are due to meet the Department of Health again in June, the Medical Independent can report.
The IMO has met with the Department a number of times, following the Organisation’s ballot for industrial action and subsequent publishing of the Crowe Horwath Review. The Crowe Horwath Implementation Group chaired by HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry is now working through various modules with a view to establishing a future structure for Public Health Medicine.
“The IMO have stressed to the Department of Health that one of the key enablers to buy in from the specialty is the move to consultant status for specialists in public health medicine,” according to Mr Val Moran, Director of Industrial Relations, General Practice, Public and Community Health.
“This is recognised by all sides and will have to be addressed through negotiation with the IMO. The engagement has been positive to date and all sides recognise that in order for a transformative change to take place the issue of consultant status needs to be addressed.”
Members who attended the IMO AGM Public Health Specialty Meeting in Killarney, heard presentations from Professor Emer Shelley, Dean of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine and Dr Henry with regard to the reform of Public Health structures.
“It is clear that in order for the specialty to thrive we must embrace and shape reform,” according to Mr Moran.
“It is anticipated that intensive IR [industrial relations] negotiations with the Department on the contractual aspects including consultant status will commence with the IMO in September once there is greater visibility of any new proposed structure.”
A recent IMO survey of senior medical officers (SMOs) in public health medicine revealed a number of troubling issues with regard to SMOs, including lack of clerical support and lack of rota cover.