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IHCA consultants ‘not confident’ new contract will address recruitment challenge

By Reporter - 07th Mar 2023

private hospital

Nearly three quarters of IHCA members are “not confident” the new Sláintecare contract will address the consultant recruitment and retention crisis, a survey has found.

The IHCA survey also found 67 per cent of specialist trainee respondents said “they are less likely or not influenced” to stay in Ireland to take-up the new contract.

The Association had a 65 per cent response rate to the recent survey.

Some 77 per cent of respondents currently practising abroad indicated “they are less likely or not influenced” to return to Ireland based on this new contract, while 73 per cent overall “are not confident” that the new contract will address the consultant recruitment and retention crisis.

“73 per cent of our public contract respondents said they are more likely to remain on their current contract rather than take-up the new one,” said an IHCA spokesperson.  

The spokesperson added “time will tell as to the effectiveness or not of this new contract”.

“Ultimately, its ability to meaningfully address record patient waiting times, fill the 900 vacant consultant posts, and improve the daily working experiences of all consultants will be the acid tests.

 “While the employer has moved to talk-up its significance, those of us grappling with the system day-to-day can be forgiven for having reservations. The reality is that there are simply not enough consultants to meet the increasing demands.”

The spokesperson added the “final decision” on whether or not to take-up this new contract is now a matter for individual consultants. 

“As we have done throughout, the Association will continue to support our members at home and abroad in this regard. We remain committed to playing a proactive role in the pursuit of enhancing our health service for the betterment of patients, consultants, and all healthcare professionals.”

The IMO is currently balloting consultant and NCHD members on the contract. The deadline for the vote is today (7 March).

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