Reilly welcomes proposed deal on doctors strike
The Minister for Health has welcomed the proposed deal on the junior doctors strike reached at the Labour Relations Commission.
The Irish Medical Organisation will now ballot its members on the proposals.
James Reilly said the deal - which includes financial sanctions for hospitals found to be in breach of the EU Working Time Directive - will punish those who have failed rather than doctors or patients.
Minister Reilly said that he hopes the proposals will bring an end to the dispute:
"I do hope that this will resolve the dispute and that we can continue our work to reduce the working hours of non-consultant hospital doctors," he said.
"And also to continue the work to give them a proper clear career path
"I want our young doctors to stay in this country to look after us rather than ending up abroad as we go abroad trying to bring doctors in here."
Dr Reilly, who appeared before the Oireachtas Health Committee to give an update on his department, said the Government would look at NCHD working patterns, attendance systems and the reorganisation of services.
“I want to create a health system that protects, nurtures and develops the people who work within it,” he said.
“That is why I am determined to change the role of NCHDs within our health system.
“It is essential that doctors enjoy reasonable working conditions. I want to reassure hospital doctors that the Government is committed to achieving compliance with the European working time directive in respect of NCHDs by the end of 2014.”
The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) is to recommend that NCHDs accept new proposals drawn up by the Labour Relations Commission.
Under the new plans, which are to be balloted on, hospitals could face financial sanctions if they breach rules and force junior medics to work more 24-hour shifts.
The agreement was reached between the IMO and Health Service Executive during intensive talks, which followed appeals by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Dr James Reilly for both sides to attempt to resolve the long-running dispute.
Doctors had warned that a second strike could last two days.
Fifty-one hospitals were hit by a walkout by 3,000 non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHDs) with pickets outside at least eight hospitals for most of the day on October 8.
About 12,000 outpatient appointments were cancelled and about 3,000 operations postponed as a result of the strike.
HSE director general Tony O'Brien said he was hopeful junior doctors would vote to accept the deal.
He said, as of September, 76% of NCHDs were compliant with a 24-hour shift and a further 6% worked no more than 26 hours continuously.
He said these figures underline continuing progress – when compared to the first half of the year.
“One issue remaining between the sides is the matter of sanctions and the HSE has put proposals to the IMO to resolve this issue,” Mr O’Brien added.
“The HSE and IMO have now concluded negotiations facilitated by the LRC and yesterday the IMO NCHD Committee agreed to put resolution proposals to a ballot of members.
“It is hoped that this will lead to a final resolution of the dispute.”
- Sign up here to receive news by email. Once per day, no spam.