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Recruitment of public hospital-only consultants should go ahead - Ó Caoláin

29 June, 2006


Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health and Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has called on the Health Service Executive to proceed with the recruitment of hospital consultants under contracts which would see them working in the public hospital system only. He described as “unacceptable” the decision of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association and the Irish Medical Organisation to yet again refuse to proceed with negotiations on a new contract for hospital consultants.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, “It is no longer tolerable that the current system allows hospital consultants to occupy salaried public hospital positions while also profiting from private patients in public hospitals as well as working in private hospitals. In 2001 the Government’s Health Strategy promised the renegotiation of the contract with consultants in order to deliver more equitable access to hospital care for public patients. This renegotiation has been repeatedly postponed over the past six years.

“It is unacceptable that the Irish Hospital Consultants Association and the Irish Medical Organisation have yet again refused to enter negotiations. For too long a section of hospital consultants which profits from both the public and private health sectors, thus perpetuating the two-tier system, has been allowed to hold public patients to ransom. This cannot be allowed to continue.

“The Health Service Executive should proceed with the recruitment of hospital consultants who will serve in the public hospital system only. These consultants are desperately needed in our hospital system and patients will continue to suffer and be deprived of comprehensive care so long as their recruitment is blocked.” ENDS

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