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Recruitment and retention ‘crisis’ causing ‘real damage’

The IMO warned today that the recruitment and retention crisis of doctors is causing “a major crisis in our health services”.

The IHCA also said today that the Medical Workforce Intelligence Report, “confirms the extremely damaging impact of discriminating against hospital consultants since 2012”.

Citing figures released today in the Medical Council’s report  IMO President Dr Peadar Gilligan said the report “confirms that we are now losing doctors who have travelled to Ireland to work here but who don’t like what they are experiencing”.

“Ireland is a cold house for consultants and will remain so as long as the Government persists with the inequitable policy of paying new consultants 30 per cent less than colleagues hired before 2012 and doing the same job,” he said.

“That is why the Government can’t fill 500 empty posts across the country and that is directly leading to longer waiting times for patients.”

The IMO said the report indicates that amongst the reasons cited by trainees for withdrawal from the medical register include limited opportunities for career progression, understaffing, concerns about safety, lack of flexible training options, expectation to carry out too many non-core tasks, and a lack of respect for doctors in our health service. 

The IMO said that “steps urgently need to be taken to tackle this crisis in our medical workforce, and ensure that we recruit and retain a sufficient number of doctors to provide the care needed for our growing and aging population”.

The IHCA President, Dr Donal O’Hanlon, said: “The current Government’s policy, which still has not reversed the unique and additional 30 per cent unilateral salary cut imposed only on new consultants in 2012, is driving our much needed specialists abroad and is resulting in one in five permanent consultant posts being unfilled.

“This is destroying the basic fabric of our acute hospital and mental health services to the detriment of patients. It is one of the main reasons why over 540,000 people are awaiting an outpatient appointment with a hospital consultant and a further 70,000 patients are awaiting inpatient and day case surgical appointments.”

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