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IHCA respond to former head of HSE’s confirmation that lack of consultants is biggest impact on public hospitals

[ Monday, 5th November 2018 ]

Note: Dr O’Hanlon is available for interview – please contact James Dunny (086 388 3903) to arrange

Sunday 4th November 2018: The Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) has welcomed the confirmation in today’s Sunday Business Post by the former Director General of the HSE, Tony O’Brien, that the single biggest issue affecting public hospitals is the recruitment and retention of consultants. He also confirmed that the decision by the Government to discriminate against new entrant consultants is having a devastating impact on the health service and patients.

President of the IHCA, Dr Donal O’Hanlon, said that “our public hospitals are in a state of crisis and Tony O’Brien has confirmed, as the Association has been highlighting for years, that the inability of our public hospitals to recruit and retain consultants is preventing the provision of care to patients.  There is no doubt that the root cause of the high number of vacant consultant posts is the persistent discrimination by the State against new entrant consultants, who are being paid up to 57% less than their colleagues who were appointed prior to October 2012.

“Around a fifth of the permanent hospital consultant posts are vacant, which we can ill afford as our hospitals already have 40% fewer consultants than the OECD average. We are on the verge again of an entirely predictable trolley crisis this winter. Already this summer record numbers of patients were treated on trolleys. The indications are that this winter will be the worst ever.

“To ensure timely patient access to care, the Government must end the discrimination against new entrant consultants, so that they will return to take up the increasing number vacant consultant posts. These consultants are vital to provide timely high-quality care that patients need and deserve,” concluded Dr O’Hanlon.



For further information contact:

James Dunny, FleishmanHillard 086 3883903