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The IHCA and IMO have raised significant concerns regarding the Government’s planned implementation of the new Sláintecare consultant contract. Both bodies met with Department of Health and HSE officials earlier this month.
An IHCA spokesperson told the Medical Independent that it remained “open to further engagement on these issues, but based on our initial engagement, this regrettably seems to be nothing more than a box ticking exercise on the part
On the initial meeting the spokesperson said: “Alarmingly, we were informed by the officials that they had ‘no mandate’ to engage in discussions on the very matters that were, outwardly at least, the purpose of the meeting.”
“The current approach to addressing the significant consultant shortages in our system lacks ambition and strategic thinking.
“It is unclear how the particular proposals fit with the pressing need and strategy aimed at bucking the upward trends in growing hospital waiting lists and waiting times, unfilled consultant posts, and the departure of consultants to other health systems abroad.” The IMO consultant committee was also unhappy with its meeting.
“The position of the Department is that the matters relating to this contract are not for negotiation, but for implementation with a provision for ‘feedback’,” according to an email sent to consultant members. The IMO has advised the Department of its entitlement to negotiate contractual terms and conditions.