Junior doctors’ strike will cause ‘crisis’, says patients’ group

IPA chief excutive says it supports the cause, but not the method

Irish Patients’ Association chief executive Stephen McMahon said patients cannot be used as pawns in the dispute. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Irish Patients’ Association chief executive Stephen McMahon said patients cannot be used as pawns in the dispute. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Wed, Sep 4, 2013, 13:09

The one-day strike by junior doctors would cause a crisis if it goes ahead, according to the Irish Patients’ Association chief excutive.

Speaking on RTÉ radio this morning, Stephen McMahon said his organisation could not support the industrial action, which is organised over long working hours and is set to take place on Wednesday, September 25th.

“We’re certainly backing the cause, but not the means. Patients are not to be used as pawns,” he said.

“What needs to happen is the Minister [for Health James Reilly] needs to make a lead position in this crisis.”

Mr McMahon said the run up to the strike will also affect patients, who will be distracted by talk of it and seeing posters for the action.

He added that non-unionised junior doctors will feel pressured and obliged to take part in the strike as well.