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IHCA Statement on RTÉ Prime Time Programme

[ Tuesday, 21st November 2017 ]


21st November, 2017: Commenting on this morning’s reports relating to the RTÉ Prime Time programme, to be broadcast this evening, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association said that it can confidently state that the overwhelming majority of consultants are working well beyond their contracted hours in an effort to provide care for patients in an under resourced health care system. The IHCA President, Dr Thomas Ryan, said that each year hospital consultants throughout the country treat a quarter of a million more patients compared with a decade ago, despite the fact hospitals now have 12% fewer in-patient beds.

The Association said that while it cannot comment on the individual cases referred to in the reports on the programme, there is a mechanism in the Consultant Contract which is available to hospital management to address such matters.

Commenting on the RTÉ Prime Time claims in relation to the treatment of private patients in public hospitals, Dr Ryan said that the vast majority of patients are admitted to public hospitals through emergency departments and, as a consequence, Consultants cannot control the mix of patients in terms of their public or private status.

In addition, Dr Ryan said that it is widely acknowledged that the methods used in hospitals to measure public patient to private patient ratios are both inaccurate and unreliable. This was identified as a problem in an independent management report commissioned by the HSE in 2007 during the Consultant Contract negotiations. In 2011 the IHCA and the then HSE CEO agreed that those serious flaws needed to be rectified, but that has not yet happened.




For more information:

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