IMO welcome Harris commitment on pay discrimination

Consultants have welcomed a commitment by the Minister for Health to resolve a dispute over pay discrimination.

Simon Harris told the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) AGM in Killarney, County Kerry, yesterday that a process is clearly needed to avoid any further risk of industrial action.

Incoming President of the Irish Medical Organisation, Dr Padraig McGarry has welcomed the news - but warned that it cannot just be "talks about talks".

"This has to happen quickly, this has to be a priority," said Dr McGarry.

"It is having adverse effects on patient care due to the inability to recruit consultants across the country."

Dr McGarry said that more than 20% of the consultant posts in the country are lying vacant.

The conference heard yesterday that doctor burnout is putting “enormous strain” on the health service.

Dr McGarry said doctor and patient welfare are very important issues for the organisation.

“It is crucial that health service employers particularly recognise this as a problem and put in place programmes to support doctors at all career stages,” he said.

“As doctors we can sometimes prioritise the health of our patients ahead of our own, so we need to be more aware of how we are feeling so that we can perform at our best. That way, patients will get the optimal level of care.”

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