IMO: Junior doctors' strike can be avoided
The Irish Medical Organisation says a strike by junior doctors can be avoided if the HSE is willing to negotiate over working hours.
Yesterday, the IMO served industrial action on the HSE which will see a one day national strike of Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors (NCHDs) at hospitals around the country on Wednesday, September 25 along with further industrial action - in at least one hospital - in each region, every week - from Monday September 30.
Dr Shane Considine, a member of the NCHD committee of the IMO, said this month's planned strike can be prevented.
"We'd be very hopeful that it wouldn't be forced to go ahead but it really depends on the engagement from the HSE," Dr Considine said.
"From what they've been prepared to bring to the table, to date - it's been non-existant, essentially.
"If they come to the table and work with us on these requests that we've put before them, then absolutely we can avoid this action.
"But I have to say that I feel that is somewhat unlikely."
The formal strike notice was submitted following a special meeting of the Council of the IMO, when it unanimously passed a motion to support strike action to force the HSE to deal with the dispute.
A special motion was also passed to express “grave concern at the inaction of the HSE in the face of illegal and dangerously long working hours which has a detrimental effect on doctors and patients alike”.
The doctors have called for an immediate end to shifts exceeding 24 hours.
They have also demanded the Government implements the European Working Time Directive, which states employees should work no more than an average 48 hours per week, by the end of 2014.
A landslide 97% of 1,000 NCHDs yesterday voted in favour of the strike action.
The IMO has claimed that some hospital doctors are being forced to work up to 100 hours a week.
Doctors have committed to providing emergency cover during any strikes or work stoppages.
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