IMO will not be bound by Ictu decision on Croke Park agreement

Conference adopts emergency motion calling on doctors to reject proposed new deal

Dr Paul McKeown, president of the IMO pictured proposing a motion rejecting Croke Park II at the agm in the Hotel Europe, Killarney, yesterday. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Dr Paul McKeown, president of the IMO pictured proposing a motion rejecting Croke Park II at the agm in the Hotel Europe, Killarney, yesterday. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Fri, Apr 5, 2013, 06:00


The Irish Medical Organisation has said it will not be bound by any decision of the public service committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions when it meets later this month to decide on whether to ratify the new Croke Park agreement.

Delegates at the IMO’s annual conference yesterday adopted an emergency motion which called on doctors to reject the proposed new deal in a ballot which is currently under way.

The emergency motion also stated that the IMO would “consider all its options” in the event of the public services committee deciding to approve the new Croke Park agreement.

The IMO was one of a group of trade unions that walked out of the talks on the agreement in February.

Asked whether doctors could take industrial action over the Croke Park proposals, IMO president Dr Paul McKeown said the issue of Croke Park would be debated at a special session of the conference tomorrow.

In his address to the conference yesterday, Dr McKeown said there had been unprecedented interference by Ministers in the democratic processes of trade unions while they were considering the proposals.

Bullying tactics
He said there had been “threats and bullying tactics in an attempt to coerce union members into accepting the unacceptable”.

Dr McKeown also said that GPs were being forced to ration care for patients because they “simply could not afford to continue to provide all the services which their patients need”.

He said the IMO was fighting to try to resist the imposition of any further cuts.

He claimed that these would have a disproportionate impact on the old, the vulnerable and those in nursing homes, as well as people in disadvantaged areas.

He said that pay threats for both consultant and non-consultant doctors presented a real threat to the country’s ability to retain and to attract new doctors.

Dr McKeown also said non-consultant doctors played a key role in the delivery of the country’s health services.

However, he said it was a role that was unappreciated and under-valued by policy-makers and HSE managers.

“Without a doubt patient care is being jeopardised in a system which routinely expects doctors to work excessive hours without adequate breaks or rest.”