Wednesday 16 October 2019

Department of Health takes first steps in ending pay gap between hospital consultants

Simon Harris (Michelle Devane/PA)
Simon Harris (Michelle Devane/PA)

Eilish O Regan

The first steps towards ending the pay gap that leaves newly-recruited hospital consultants earning €50,000 less than longer-serving colleagues are to get under way.

The pay gap for consultants hired since 2012 has been blamed for contributing to  large waiting lists and leading to 500 doctor vacancies.

Minister for Health Simon Harris yesterday wrote to the Irish Medical Organisation inviting them to meet with his Department, the HSE and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform next week.

It is estimated that the cost of reversing the pay gap of around 30p would cost in the region of €40m.

A spokeswoman said Minister Harris had been clear there were issues of recruitment and retention among the consultant workforce that need to be examined.

Mr Harris has also recently published the Donal De Buitlear report, which examines phasing out of private practice from public hospitals.

He is expected to also write to the Irish Hospital Consultants Association.

He will write to other stakeholders in due course.

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