The IMO has agreed to consider several position papers put forward by the Department of Health following a meeting between the sides aimed at resolving the ongoing public health specialists dispute.
The meeting on Wednesday 27 January marked the first formal engagement after the IMO deferred planned strike action following an explosion in cases of Covid-19 late last year. Further meetings are expected to occur.
Public health specialists remain dissatisfied with the Department’s continued silence on delivering promised reforms for the profession, including the introduction of consultant status for in line with that of their medical colleagues.
Structural reforms and improved work models for the profession with consultant led teams are urgently sought in a bid to improve public health services and attractiveness to the profession.
Ireland has a chronic shortage of public health specialists, a deficiency that has negatively impacted our response to Covid-19.
Impending retirements and insufficient trainees to replace the workforce are among the threats facing the profession.
In a statement, a spokesman for the IMO said: “The IMO met with the Department of Health and the HSE today in the context of the dispute in relation to public health specialists and a new model for public health in Ireland. It was agreed that the IMO would consider a number of position papers following which further engagement will take place.”