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Consultant talks break down
[Posted: Fri 27/07/2012 www.irishhealth.com]
Talks aimed at agreeing more flexible working practices and pay savings with hospital consultants have broken down.
The HSE says it is to seek the intervention of the Labour Relations Commission following the collapse of talks with the consultant organisations.
The consultant organisations - IHCA and IMO - have expressed disappointment that more time was not given to the talks.
The HSE has claimed it can seek changes in consultant working arrangements under the Croke Park Deal, but the consultant bodies say some of the HSE proposals are not within the parameters of this agreement.
The health executive wants formal weekend rostering for consultants, a lower entry pay grade and the elimination of major overtime backlogs due to consultants. It is anxious to reach agreement on these issues in a bid to tackle its mounting financial deficit.
The IHCA said it was disappointed that HSE management had withdrawn from the talks at this stage.
"The HSE has prematurely broken off the discussions without first setting out how the State intends to reconfigure hospitals or the number of consultants that are needed to provide a proper service to patients," the IHCA said.
The Association added that consultants have already demonstrated 'extensive flexibility', saving €63 million last year on one new clinical programme alone. "There are now 10% more patients being treated compared with two years ago despite cuts in the health services budgets."
Health Minister James Reilly originally pledged to cut consultant pay further when he came to office last year. However, subsequently, he said he would concentrate on implementing more flexible work structures for consultants.
Meanwhile, the SIPTU union has says it may ballot on industrial action over the HSE proposal for longer working hours and an overtime cut for HSE staff.
|zebedee Posted: 27/07/2012 11:12|
Consultants in this country are paid significantly more than through-out the rest of Europe. This in itself is an issue that needs addressing. Either reductions in pay or more flexibility to retain pay rates would not be unreasonable.
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