Commenting on the agreement by Government of the proposed new Consultant contract today, the President of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA), said:
“We have communicated our views on Minister Donnelly’s proposal consistently to both the Minister himself and the Secretary General of the Department of Health.
“Currently, over 900,000 people are on a waiting list to see a hospital consultant. Over 900 permanent Consultant posts are unfilled. For a decade, we have been calling on Government to constructively engage so as to address these stark realities.
“Despite progress in discussions over the recent period, the Minister and Government have moved on and ended talks with representative bodies.
“There remain a number of critically important issues that need to be addressed to ensure any proposed contract will reduce patient waiting times and address the Consultant recruitment and retention crisis.
“The Donnelly proposal must stand up against international standards in order to make Ireland’s health service a place that medical and surgical specialist want to work. This is the lens through which our members will evaluate this proposal.
“We will also be looking at this from the perspective of the almost 1 million people currently waiting for essential care across the country, to assess whether the core objective of providing patients with timely essential care can be achieved through this proposed contract.
“We have a detailed consultation process to undertake with our membership now, including those currently working abroad, to determine Consultants’ final view on the Donnelly proposal.”
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