Hospital doctors cost €22k a day in overtime

Two of Ireland’s largest hospitals spent more than €8m on junior doctor overtime last year — the equivalent of €22,000 a day.

Figures revealed under the Freedom of Information Act show that Tallaght Hospital and the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick spent that amount, despite employing less than 10% of all junior doctors in Ireland.

The details have been published by the Medical Independent in the lead-up to an imminent junior doctors strike over excessive working hours, due to begin next week.

While the public stand-off between the HSE and Irish Medical Organisation officials is focused on the potential patient health risks the lengthy shifts can cause, the FoI figures also underline the financial pain resulting from the situation.

According to the official documents, last year the Mid-Western Regional Hospital spent €6.76m on junior doctors’ overtime payments.

A further €1.54m was spent at Tallaght.

However, both facilities employ only 218 and 241 of Ireland’s 4,800 junior doctors respectively — meaning the pay-out relates to just 10% of the non-consultant, hospital doctor workforce.

Last year, the 241 junior doctors employed at Tallaght worked 38,539 hours in overtime, a figure that means each medic worked an average of 160 extra hours during the period.

The rates were revealed as the HSE and IMO are due to enter a second week or Labour Relations Commission talks today over the imminent strike, which is due to begin on Sept 25.

The HSE has been told to provide clear plans showing it will be in line with European Commission working-time policy by the end of next year after failing to do so during a previous meeting last week.

Under European Working Time Directive rules, no one is allowed to legally work more than 48 hours a week. However, cutbacks and staff shortages mean junior doctors in Ireland are regularly working up to 100 hours a week.

The commission has previously warned the HSE and Department of Health that Ireland will face fines if it continues to flout the vital staff and patient shift length safety requirements.

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.