The Irish Association for Emergency Medicine (IAEM) has welcomed the news of the creation of 50 additional posts for consultants in emergency medicine.
The IAEM said that Ireland is “very poorly provided” with consultants in emergency medicine “and therefore the decision of the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly to fund” the additional posts “is very welcome”.
In its statement the IAEM said that “having fully trained specialists in emergency medicine looking after patients with emergency presentations will undoubtedly enhance the quality of care provided to these patients”.
However the Association also noted “the most significant problem currently affecting clinical care in Emergency Departments (EDs)” which it said is “the inability of a patient who requires hospital admission to be provided with a hospital bed in a timely fashion, resulting in unacceptable levels of ED crowding with inpatient boarders”.
“As welcome as this initiative may therefore be, the appointment of additional consultants in emergency medicine will not address this issue. It is imperative therefore that, in parallel, bed capacity is urgently created to improve the safety of patients in EDs.”
The IAEM also highlights the “very significant disparity in pay between established consultants and those appointed since 2012”.
It warned that the creation of the 50 new posts “may fail unless this salary inequality which makes consultant posts in Ireland particularly unattractive compared with elsewhere in the developed world is addressed, and addressed urgently”.
“The Association sees this as an issue that must be tackled so that the healthcare system benefits from the Minister’s initiative.”