Reilly losing patience with consultants
Minister for Health James Reilly has accused hospital consultants of vacillation over reforms to their work practices which would see them carry out more work for public patients.
Mr Reilly said today he was losing patience “big time” with one of the organisations that represents hospital consultants.
The Department of Health is currently engaged in industrial relations negotiations with the Irish Hospital Consultants’ Association at the Labour Relations Commission.
Up to now, the Minister has stressed his desire to obtain greater productivity from consultants rather than a cut in pay, as many of his critics have advocated.
Speaking to reporters this morning, however, he said he intended to discuss “further options” for dealing with the issue with Cabinet colleagues and the Attorney General. He said the issue was not going to go away and had to be addressed.
However, he wanted to fair to those consultants who were cooperating by delivering change on the ground, which had resulted in substantial savings since last year.
“I don’t want to be hurting those consultants who are delivering while the ones who aren’t delivering get away scot free,” he said, adding that a cap on pay was not the answer.
On the health cutbacks, Dr Reilly said he had absolutely no problem in acknowledging that he had failed to communicate to the people who feared the most from the HSE cuts announced last week and who had camped out outside Government Buildings.
“So for that I am deeply sorry.”
He said the report on where to site the new national children’s hospital, which has been due since the end of the summer, would come to Cabinet “in the next number of weeks”.