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IMO consultant and NCHD members reject new contract

By Reporter - 07th Mar 2023


Consultant and NCHD members of the IMO have voted to reject the new consultant contract proposed by the HSE and the Department of Health. 

The results of the ballot are: 57 per cent of current contract holders have indicated they will not switch to the new contract; 64 per cent of NCHDs say they will not take up the contract; and 59 per cent of consultants currently working overseas say they will not return to Ireland to take up the contract.

The Organisation said it will support individual members on whatever decision they take in respect of the new contract.  It called on the Government to reengage on key points around hours of work, rostering arrangements and location and work with the representative bodies to secure “a contract that works for all”.

“The Government took the unilateral decision to conclude negotiations on a new contract and to present a final document on a take-it or leave-it basis without the agreement of the IMO,” said Prof Matthew Sadlier, Chair of the IMO Consultant Committee.

“While we accept there was progress on some issues, we were very clear at the negotiations that a lack of safeguards around rostering, location and sufficient number of medical and other staff would make the terms unworkable in practice and create huge uncertainty and inequity. 

“The Irish health services desperately needs more consultants and while we hope this contract will achieve that, there are valid concerns amongst doctors.

“Our concern is that was a missed opportunity by Government to agree a contract that would both encourage existing consultants to transition to and which would be attractive to much needed new consultants.  We are now almost certainly looking at a period of great uncertainty and potentially an ongoing recruitment crisis.”

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