Monday 21 January 2019

More than seven in ten recently recruited hospital consultants considering resigning over pay gap

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

More than seven in ten recently recruited hospital consultants warn they will consider resigning if the lower salary they are getting is not addressed.

A survey of 317 of the consultants was carried out to find out their views on the pay gap between recent recruits and doctors appointed before the recession and cuts were imposed.

It can be up to 57pc of a pay difference in some cases, it is claimed.

The Irish Hospital Consultants Association which carried out the survey said health services “face an escalating and unprecedented consultant recruitment and retention crisis due to ongoing blatant discrimination by the State and health service employers against new hospital consultants.”

It found that nearly all  agree that lower salary terms are having an adverse impact on the delivery of patient care due to the large number of consultant posts that are unfilled or filled on a temporary basis.

IHCA President Dr Donal O’ Donovan said that “over 70pc of the new consultants have confirmed that they will seriously consider resigning from their public hospital posts unless the discriminatory salary terms are corrected.

“Furthermore, the vast majority of respondents (95pc) strongly agree that the lower salary terms do not reflect the importance of the work and level of responsibility that they hold in their public posts.”

“The survey has provided categorical evidence that our highly trained specialist consultants will not continue to work in our health services if the persistent and blatant discrimination against them continues.

“Recently appointed consultants are on salaries significantly below those of their pre-October 2012 colleagues who are currently being paid up to 57pc more.”

He warned:”Our acute services are  increasingly uncompetitive in recruiting and retaining the number of consultants required to provide timely, high quality, safe care to patients.

“There are approximately 450 approved consultant posts, a full 15pc of the total, which cannot be filled on a permanent basis and the age profile of the Consultant workforce suggests this problem will increase as 25pc are over 55 years old.

“About half of the 450 posts are vacant and some are filled on an agency basis, at costs which are up to three times the discriminatory salaries being paid to recently appointed consultants.”

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