Medical Council Report confirms impact of government policy in driving much needed specialist consultants abroad
Thursday 11th April 2019: The IHCA said that the Medical Workforce Intelligence Report, which was published by the Medical Council today, confirms the extremely damaging impact of discriminating against hospital consultants since 2012.
The IHCA President, Dr Donal O'Hanlon, said: “The current Government's policy, which still has not reversed the unique and additional 30% unilateral salary cut imposed only on new consultants in 2012, is driving our much needed specialists abroad and is resulting in one in five permanent consultant posts being unfilled. This is destroying the basic fabric of our acute hospital and mental health services to the detriment of patients. It is one of the main reasons why over 540,000 people are awaiting an outpatient appointment with a hospital consultant and a further 70,000 patients are awaiting inpatient and day case surgical appointments.”
Dr O’Hanlon said “the Association has provided the Minister for Health, Mr Simon Harris, with comprehensive and irrefutable evidence of the extent and causes of the consultant recruitment and retention crisis. It confirms that the quality and safety of care which acute hospital and mental health services can provide to the population is being seriously damaged due to the failure to fill around 500 approved permanent consultant posts.”
“The failure to restore pay parity is a false economy from patient care and financial perspectives. This includes the fact that patients’ medical conditions are deteriorating while they remain on unacceptable waiting lists, which could be addressed if vacant permanent consultant posts were filled. The delays are contributing to higher emergency admissions, longer lengths of stay and poorer patient outcomes. In addition, the recruitment crisis is resulting in higher costs being incurred on agency contracts, State Claims Agency clinical indemnity claims and NTPF outsourcing.‘’
Dr O’Hanlon concluded ‘’There is now general agreement that the hospital consultant recruitment and retention crisis is giving rise to significant patient care and safety concerns, including unacceptable waiting lists, and that this needs to be addressed urgently. To address these problems the Government needs to advance discussions with the IHCA to restore full pay parity for new consultants, as applies for all other public contract holders.’’
For further information contact:
James Dunny, FleishmanHillard 0863883903