Junior doctors to strike on 25 September
JUNIOR doctors are to hold a one-day national strike on Wednesday 25 September, the Irish Medical Organisation has announced.
The non-consultant hospital doctors are protesting over working hours – with hospitals now threatened with gridlock.
The strike follows a ballot of NCHD members in which an overwhelming 97pc of the 1,000 doctors polled voted for industrial action.
The IMO today notified the HSE of the national strike by junior doctors as they step up their fight for a shorter working week.
It will mean that junior doctors will only provide emergency cover.
All 4,900 junior doctors will be under pressure to support the action.
This will be followed by strikes in “at least one hospital in each region of the country” the following week, the union’s strike committee warned.
The drastic measures follow a ballot of junior doctors which resulted in 97pc of 1,000 trainees voting for industrial action.
The doctors want an end to their gruelling working week of up to 100 hours.They are demanding an immediate end to shifts of more than 24 hours and a commitment from the HSE to have the 48 hour week they are entitled to in place by the end of 2014.
The IMO Council which met today passed a motion to support strike action in order to seek to force the HSE to deal with the issue of “dangerously long working hours once and for all”.
The council also passed a special motion to express “grave concern at the inaction of the HSE in the face of illegal and dangerously long working hours which has a detrimental effect on doctors and patients alike”.
Dr. John Donnellan, chairman of the junior doctors’ committee called on the HSE “at this late hour to produce serious proposals to resolve these issues;.”
He said: “This has been an extremely difficult decision for doctors to make and we would not be in this position were it not for the inaction and prevarication of the Department of Health and the HSE.
“Even now, the Minister for Health could resolve this issue by directing his colleagues to tackle this issue once-and-for-all.”
By Ellis O'Regan