Crisis will recur if junior doctor issues not resolved – Ó Caoláin
Commenting on the decision of the Irish Medical Organisation to go
ahead with the one-day industrial action by junior hospital doctors on
8 October, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said: “It is very regrettable that this action is going ahead next week but understandable given the lack of progress by the Minister for Health and the HSE in resolving the underlying issues.
“Progress is years overdue. After such a delay and the HSE’s timeframe of the end of next year for the implementation of the European Working Time Directive (under which no junior hospital doctor should work more than 48 hours per week) it is no surprise that talks between the HSE and IMO broke down on the absence of HSE sanctions on hospitals who do not comply.
“Repeatedly, and as late as last week in the Dáil, I called on the
Minister for Health, James Reilly, to ensure progress in reform of
hospital medical staffing and in medical training and recruitment to
ensure compliance with the Directive. I called on the Minister to
recruit and deploy doctors in sufficient numbers to guarantee safe
practice, better working conditions and improved care for patients.
These are underlying issues that need to be resolved or else the
crisis with junior hospital doctors will recur.
“In the Dáil the Minister did not reply when I asked if the Department
of Public Expenditure and Reform had given a commitment to provide
whatever resources are needed to implement an agreement reached.
Clearly progress was made in the talks between the HSE and the IMO
before the breakdown and I would hope that, even now, progress can be built on and industrial action avoided.” ENDS