Hospital consultants to be balloted for strike action

Hospital consultants to be balloted for strike action

Hospital consultants will be balloted for strike action in September unless talks take place to address the "crisis" in consultant recruitment.

More than 500 consultant posts are unfilled nationwide, which the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) says is increasing waiting lists at hospitals.

The IMO has accused the government of ignoring the crisis despite previous commitments to restore pay parity.

Organisation representatives say unless recruitment issues are addressed, services will become unsustainable and front line care could be impacted.

Speaking today, Dr Matthew Sadlier, Consultant Psychiatrist said: "The Government’s recklessly belligerent attitude is radicalising our members who are now considering the need to withdraw services until pay parity is restored.

This is a crisis in Consultant recruitment which is happening now and which could impact on front line care in the health services for years and it simply must be fixed now.

Dr Sadlier criticised the Taoiseach and the Health Minister have previously accepted the need to change the current system but have failed to act.

He said that posts that are advertised receive few, if any, applications where a decade ago there would have been intense competition.

"We have a flagship project that cannot attract enough consultants to even open Phase 1 as originally planned," said Dr Sadlier.

"Unless we do something now the situation will deteriorate to the extent that services will be unsustainable with no hope of developing much needed new services for patients.”

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