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IMO members have agreed to delay a decision on strike action for two months given the Covid-19 crisis.
According to a statement from the union, public health specialists from the IMO met last night to consider the “recent refusal of the Government to set out a definitive timeline for the introduction of consultant status for public health specialists.”
The IMO members decided that for “ethical reasons in the context of the Covid crisis, they would not proceed to industrial action at this time and mandated the IMO to engage with the Department for a time limited period of two months to see if the matter can be resolved.”
Dr Ina Kelly Chairperson of the IMO Public Health Committee said “our members are frustrated and angry at the continued refusal of the Department of Health to grant us Consultant status even as the same Department relies on us to lead the fight against Covid-19.”
“Public health medicine is critical to the ongoing management of the nation’s health and we have stepped up to the plate during this crisis taking on additional duties, additional hours even though our workforce was seriously understaffed even before Covid.
“If the Government are really serious about a consultant led public health system we must see the same level of commitment from them. Hand clapping and thanks are not the response we need.”
Also speaking today Public Health Committee member, Dr Anne Dee said “since the start of this year, our members have been at the forefront of the battle against Covid-19.”
“They are working unsustainable hours in hugely stressful conditions. They are exhausted. And the refusal of the Department of Health to move on this issue feels like a slap in the face.
“The Government has taken us for granted for too long. They can not continue to take us for granted through the coming months.”