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The IMO will ballot consultants for industrial action in September if talks do not commence to deal with the crisis in consultant recruitment afflicting the public health services.
With over 500 vacant consultant posts around the country, increasing waiting lists and now the failure to recruit enough consultants to allow the Urgent Care Centre in Connolly Hospital (Phase 1 of Children’s Hospital) to operate as planned, the IMO believes that the Government, despite previous commitments, is effectively ignoring the crisis.
Speaking for the Organisation, Dr Matthew Sadlier, Consultant Psychiatrist said: “The Government’s recklessly belligerent attitude is radicalising our members who are now considering the need to withdraw services until pay parity is restored. This is a crisis in consultant recruitment which is happening now and which could impact on front line care in the health services for years and it simply must be fixed now.”
Dr Sadlier said that consultants were particularly “upset” that both the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health have previously accepted the need to change the current discriminatory system but have failed to act.
At this year’s IMO AGM in May, Minister Simon Harris said he would
work with the IMO to find a process to end the issue of new entrant consultant pay.
Dr Sadlier said: “No engagement has taken place and in the meantime the HSE advertises posts but receives few if any applicants. A decade ago there would have been intense competition for such posts. We have a flagship project that cannot attract enough consultants to even open Phase 1 as originally planned. Unless we do something now the situation will deteriorate to the extent that services will be unsustainable with no hope of developing much needed new services for patients.”