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Government failure to follow EU Directive could lead to €100 million in fines- Ó Caoláin

9 March, 2015 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin TD and Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has criticised the Government for opening Ireland up to the possibility of €100 million in fines due to the Government’s failure to ensure Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors (NCHDs) do not exceed weekly working limits.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“The EU working time directive is designed to protect medical staff and patients. We know that many doctors work in excess of the 48 hour limit, often over 70 hours a week and some even as much as 100 hours. This is not a sustainable working environment for staff and it compromises patient safety.”

“On the one hand we see the present Government refusing to hire adequate numbers of medical staff but on the other hand they are potentially throwing €100 million down the drain. This head in the sand attitude not only compromises patient care, it also reinforces the view that the Irish healthcare system is too challenging to work in.”

“The Government needs to show staff at home and abroad that they are willing to invest in frontline healthcare workers and in the health system itself. This investment would help to reduce the mass exodus of trained staff and ease the challenge of recruiting NCHDs from across the world” concluded Deputy Ó Caoláin.”

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