Change in junior doctors’ hours delayed

THE new EU working time directive for junior doctors will not be implemented in three weeks because of the “absolute intransigence” of the IMO, the Government chief whip Mary Hanafin claimed last night.

Under the new directive the working time of junior doctors would be reduced from the current average of 72 hours a week to just 58 hours a week starting from August 1.

But the junior doctors are paid E2 million in overtime a year and the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) does not want to give that up, Ms Hanafin told RTÉ’s Week in Politics programme.

The Hospital Services Employers Agency (HSEA) also believed it would be impossible to implement the EU overtime directive for junior doctors by the August 1 deadline.

HSEA chief executive Gerard Barry said it would be impossible to comply with the directive because all junior doctors would be restricted to working from 9am to 5pm and only on weekdays.

And Professor Arthur Tanner of the Royal College of Surgeons said certain types of elective surgery such as hip replacements would be hit when the new restrictions kick in at the beginning of next month.

Increased waiting lists and staff shortages are among the affects that have been predicted.

But the IMO rejected the Government chief whip’s claims that it was their intransigence which was holding back the implementation of the new EU working time directive Meanwhile, Health Minister Micheál Martin has repeatedly said there could be a 60% to 70% compliance with the EU directive.

But this compliance is all dependent on the co-operation of the hospital consultants, who are needed to organise teams and oversee training of junior doctors. The consultants are currently refusing to co-operate with this training until the Health minister sorts out the ongoing row over clinical indemnity. This is the insurance scheme for past medical procedures that the consultants want the Government to underwrite now that the British companies say they can no longer afford it. But the minister is refusing to take it over and offering instead to finance any Irish doctor who has to sue the British companies to get them to pay up.

More in this section

Price info
IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.