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Public health doctors defer strike action

The IMO Public Health Committee has decided to defer three days of strike action due later this month because of the upsurge in Covid-19 cases.

The three days of strike action were planned for 14, 20 and 21 January.

The Committee said it will review the situation again at the end of January.

“For all the talk from the Government on the importance of supporting public health we are more than disappointed, frustrated and angry that even now our Public Health Departments are wholly under resourced and Government has still not even come to us with proposals to reform the system so that we can have a consultant led public health service,” said Dr Ina Kelly, Chair of the IMO Public Health Committee.

“It is nothing short of disgraceful that we are almost a year into this pandemic and have had no meaningful engagement with Government.

“This confirms to us that this Government neither respects nor values the work of public health doctors and it strengthens our resolve to win this battle in the coming months in order to protect the future of public health in Ireland. 

“We went into this pandemic understaffed, under-resourced and under-valued and nothing has changed.  We still have no consultant led public health teams and  inadequate staffing and we are still overwhelmed on a daily basis.

“Our decision to defer action is based purely on ethical considerations and our commitment to do the right thing at a time of grave crisis.  This Government has failed to do the right thing.  Our careers are dedicated to public health and to even contemplate industrial action has been an extremely difficult decision yet this Government has forced us to do just that.”

The dispute centres around allowing qualified public health doctors to be employed as consultants.

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