Dr Gilligan was speaking after it was confirmed that one-in-six consultant posts advertised last year went unfilled.
Speaking today, Dr Gilligan said the failure to complete recruitment campaigns was directly feeding into waiting lists and delaying treatment for patients. It was now influencing consultants already working in Ireland to consider emigration to more “consultant-friendly” countries.
Dr Gilligan said the recruitment and retention crisis was a direct consequence of the decision to cut pay to consultants recruited after 2012 and the failure to reverse that policy even as the economy recovered. Consultants recruited after 2012 are paid 30 per cent less than consultants recruited before that date, despite carrying out the same work with the same responsibilities.
“Morale amongst consultants is very low and the key factor is the persistence of this grossly inequitable pay structure,” said Dr Gilligan. He said it was “simply unsustainable to have pay discrimination” where the key influence on the amount earned is the date that employment commenced.