The Association President, Dr Donal O’Hanlon, has taken what the IHCA termed “exceptional action of outlining the stark realities” in letters to the Taoiseach, Ministers for Health, Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform and the main political party leaders and spokespersons on health, finance and expenditure.
Dr O’Hanlon said that Ireland’s acute hospital and mental health services will “increasingly fail our patients due to the large number of approved permanent consultant posts that cannot be filled as a consequence of the discriminatory salary cuts imposed by the State on new entrant consultants”.
“It is extremely important that the public is aware of the scale of the problem. Acute hospitals are in a serious crisis with nearly 20 per cent of permanent consultant posts not filled.
“Either the country’s political representatives are unaware of the scale of the problem or have been ignoring the fact that the State’s actions are preventing the filling of over 500 permanent consultant posts throughout the country’s acute hospitals.
“The Government position is illogical as ending the discrimination would be cost effective, resulting in significant health service benefits and cost reductions when considered fully. It would reduce health service costs through the provision of earlier patient care, better patient outcomes, reductions in outsourcing costs and shorter waiting lists. It would also reduce agency consultant costs which are up to three times the salary being paid to permanent new entrant consultants.”