IMO calls on Varadkar to 'deliver reforms that are realistic'

The President of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has warned the new Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, that health "does not need reforms which are designed by the IMF in Washington".

Mr Varadkar will move to Health from Transport, Tourism and Sport which has been give to Paschal Donohoe.

Professor Trevor Duffy has called on the new minister to "seize the opportunity to work with doctors on delivering a health service which is patient focussed, evidence-based and properly resourced."

He wished Minister Varadkar success in his new role and committed the IMO to working in a spirit of mutual respect and co-operation to "deliver reforms that are realistic and good for patients".

Professor Duffy said the IMO, on behalf of doctors working in General Practice, Hospitals, Community Medicine and Public Health, has called for real reforms that can work, not just political promises.

He said: "The IMO will not shirk from defending the position of its members and advocating for patients where misguided policy is being pursued by the Government."

Professor Duffy warned the new Minister to avoid "ideological-based reforms which are divorced from life on the ground" in the health services.

He said: “We need to take the ideology out of the Irish health services. We don’t need reforms which are designed by the IMF in Washington, we need reforms which reflect the reality of an overstretched health service where services to patients are being cut year on year, workload for doctors is increasing to unmanageable levels.

"Government routinely flouts European Directives on Working Time for NCHDs and where policymakers spend more time recruiting doctors from overseas on temporary contracts than they do trying to incentivise our highly trained doctors to stay at home and practice their profession here where they are most needed."

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