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‘Wide variation’ in specialties taking up consultant contract

By David Lynch - 10th Jun 2024

consultant contract

At the end of May some 2,297 consultants had signed the public-only consultant contract (POCC23), according to new figures provided to the Medical Independent.

Of those, 486 were new-entrants and 1,811 had switched to the contract. The POCC23 became operational on 8 March last year.

Separately, figures from the recently published National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP) Medical Workforce Analysis Report 2023-2024 showed anaesthesiology and intensive care medicine (ICM) had the highest percentage of consultants who had signed up to the POCC23 last year.

“There is a wide variation in the numbers of permanent consultants, in each medical discipline, that have chosen to avail of the new contract,” noted the report. 

While 42 per cent of anaesthesiology and ICM consultants had taken up the new contract, just 19 per cent of obstetrics and gynaecology consultants had done so.

The NDTP figures for 2023 also showed that 37 per cent of emergency medicine consultants held the POCC23, 35 per cent in paediatrics, 33 per cent in pathology, 32 per cent in general medicine, 28 per cent in radiology, 26 per cent in surgery and just 20 per cent in psychiatry.

Addressing the IMO AGM in April, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the significance of the new contract “should not be underestimated”. “As more consultants are recruited or switch to the new contract, private activity in the public system will cease. There is growing consultant decision-making on site in more hospitals, which as we know reduces admissions, reduces length of stay, and reduces delayed discharge.” See news feature

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The Medical Independent 11th June 2024

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