The IMO has said that on foot of an invitation from the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, it will meet with the Department of Health, the HSE and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform next week.
However the IMO has warned that these talks would fail unless they focussed immediately on the urgent reversal of the 2012 cuts to the pay of new consultants. The IMO has stated that it will refuse to engage in other matters until this issue which has dragged on for seven years is resolved.
Dr Clive Kilgallen, Chairman of the IMO Consultant Committee said: “While there are many issues that need to be discussed none is more important than the need to urgently end the discriminatory two-tier pay system under which new Consultants are paid up to €50,000 less than their colleagues for no other reason than the date of their appointment.”
“This discriminatory pay policy of 2012 has led to over 500 vacancies in Consultant positions, widespread emigration by young doctors and increased waiting time for patients. The urgent reversal of this inequitable and unfair policy is the first step to tackling other issues in the hospitals. Ignoring the issue any longer – as the Government seems to be planning – will not be accepted by the IMO.”
Commenting on the letter sent to the IMO by the Minister for Health, Dr Kilgallen said; “the critical issue is reversing the pay discrimination faced by new consultants. The pay issue is the key cause of the recruitment crisis amongst Consultants. The pay issue is the reason why our young Doctors are emigrating, why doctor morale is on the floor, why posts go unfilled for lack of interest and why patients are forced to wait longer for urgent treatments. We cannot consider discussing other issues until this matter is resolved. Government accepted the recommendations of the Public Service Pay Commission which clearly stated that the two tier pay system for consultants needed to be resolved between the parties to the Public Service Stability Agreement and we expect Government to honour its commitment in this regard.”