Reilly wants higher pay for doctors returning to Ireland
A starting salary of €116,000 for a doctor beginning his or her career as a consultant compares well with the wages offered abroad – although experienced specialists who return to take up jobs here should be paid more, Health Minister James Reilly has said.
The minister yesterday launched the third of three reports containing a range of recommendations aimed at making Irish hospitals more attractive to our own trainees, hundreds of whom go to hospitals abroad annually.
The demands for higher pay for new-entry consultants – which was cut by 30pc in 2012 – are before the Labour Relations Commission. Hospitals have found it difficult to fill some posts and have appealed for the salaries to be increased.
Asked about the average income of €170,000 for established hospital consultants, he said he had no problem with this but insisted specialists were still paid too much by the VHI for some procedures.
In response a spokeswoman for the VHI said claims costs in 2013 were lower than those in 2012.
Dr Reilly said he was not in favour of suggestions that junior doctors, whose medical education can cost the taxpayer up to €100,000, should be required to work here for three years.
He said it was necessary to give doctors more certainty about their future before that measure could be introduced.
One of the biggest problems was that junior doctors felt they were not respected enough. Just one in four who finish their specialist training here will be hired as a consultant.
Among the measures to be introduced will be telling individuals doctors where they are likely to be training in the next three or four years. Currently they move from hospital to hospital every six months.