Reilly firm on consultant cuts

Sat, Oct 6, 2012, 01:00

The Government will not back away from its decision to reduce pay rates by 30 per cent for hospital consultants appointed in the future, Minister for Health James Reilly has said.

Speaking this morning, the Minister confirmed that health service management will be implementing work practice reforms for consultants from November 5th.

He said the people of Ireland demanded and expected that these changes, which formed part of proposals which emerged from talks at the Labour Relations Commission last month, be put in place.

Dr Reilly signalled the measures would be introduced from early next month even if representative bodies had not concluded their consultations. He said most reasonable people would not have any issue with the measures in the Labour Relations Commission proposals.

The Minister said consultants had worries about the effect of the new lower salary scales on the ability of the health service to recruit senior doctors in the future. "These are reasonable concerns. But they are separate issues."

Dr Reilly said the Government would not be resiling from its decision to reduce the pay rates by 30 per cent for new entrants.

The Minister also said he would be bringing proposals for the development of the new children's hospital to the Taoiseach and the Tanaiste within the next 10 days. He said the issue would subsequently go to Cabinet.

Dr Reilly also said he was confident the first stage of the Government's plan to introduce free GP care would go ahead before the end of the year.

The Minister declined to comment further on the row over primary care centres and on his decision to add two locations in his constituency to the list of such facilities to be developed.

He said he had answered questions twice on the issue in the Dáil. He said it was "all there" and people could make up their minds on the issue.

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