Only 25pc of medical consultant posts filled
ONLY a quarter of the hospital consultant posts advertised since salaries were cut have so far been filled, according to new figures.
The changes, which came into effect last autumn, saw the entry pay for newly recruited consultants hired to treat only public patients fall from €166,010 to €116,207.
The starting salary for a new recruit, who can treat public and private patients, dropped from €156,258 to €109,300.
There were 45 new posts advertised since the cut and so far only 12 of these have been filled, with another 24 at interview or screening stage.
The figures come in the wake of claims by the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) that around one in five consultant posts in hospitals could be either vacant or filled on a temporary basis.
It blamed the cut in salary and working conditions for dissuading eligible candidates from applying for the still lucrative posts.
Secretary General of the IHCA Martin Varley said posts for specialists such as radiologists are having to be re-advertised due to the wage cuts and "increasingly difficult working conditions".