Saturday 25 March 2017

Unity and honest dialogue is only way to resolve crisis

Government must lose its contractual mindet and realise that medicine is a vocation, writes Ray Kinsella

Professor Ray Kinsella

It took €15m – not provided for in the Budget –and a strike to resolve the Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors (NCHD) work stoppage. It highlighted yet again the chronic failure of successive governments to resolve the medical manpower crisis in our public hospitals.

Exactly 10 years ago the Hanly Report pointed out that to deal with the impact of the European Work Time Directive (EWTD) on the hours worked by NCHDs would require 3,100 consultants by 2009 and 3,600 by 2013.

Ten years on, the NCHDs felt impelled to take industrial action, the number of consultant posts has collapsed, and the process of appointing a consultant takes years. The level of stress across the professions is unlike anything we have seen.

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