The Government needs to “act urgently before further damage is done” to the health system the IMO President Dr Padraig McGarry warned today.
Dr McGarry was speaking as the IMO launched its pre-Budget submission.
In its pre-Budget submission, the IMO calls for, among others things, the immediate end to the “pay inequalities faced by consultants” and the “immediate increase in the number of consultants employed in our health system in line with recommended ratios”.
Dr McGarry said the Government could no longer afford to delay its response to a crisis in doctor recruitment, as it has now “become the key factor” in long waiting lists and Ireland’s inability to provide timely care to patients.
“The Government has utterly failed in its duty to provide the people of Ireland with a properly resourced health system and needs to act urgently before further damage is done,” warned Dr McGarry.
“Sub-standard working conditions in understaffed hospitals are having a terrible impact on patient care and unconscionable pay inequality means doctors are emigrating in their thousands to countries that actually value the skills they provide.
“The lack of respect and culture of neglect fostered by the Government does the patients and doctors of this country a huge disservice, and as a result Ireland now has the lowest number of medical specialists in the EU. That is completely unacceptable.”
A recent survey carried out by the IMO showed that 83 per cent of non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHDs) said pay disparity at consultant level will impact on their decision on whether to apply for consultant posts in Ireland.
Full submission available on the IMO website; www.imo.ie