The IMO NCHD committee is to ballot members for industrial action citing issues over “working conditions, safe hours and routine breaches of contract”, it has been announced.
The ballot is to seek approval for industrial action “up to and including strike action in the event that the HSE does not engage meaningfully”.
Dr John Cannon, Chair of the NCHD committee said: “This is a crisis for patients and health care services. Patients are being seen by doctors who are exhausted, stressed and under pressure.”
The IMO has also published the findings of attitudes of NCHDs to their current working conditions.
Among the headlines from the survey are that 96 per cent of NCHDs have been required to work over 48 hours a week, “many on multiple occasions.”
According to the survey, 45 per cent of NCHDs say their hospital does not provide suitable on-call facilities and half of NCHDs say they have experienced difficulties availing of annual leave.
“It is clear from our research that the HSE has little concern for the physical and mental wellbeing of NCHDs,” said Dr Cannon.
“It is an incredibly short-sighted attitude as we know that these working conditions pose significant risks to patient safety.”
The IMO NCHD committee is recommending members to vote in favour of industrial action up to and including strike action. The committee has also launched a new online campaign – #standingup4NCHDs