Doctors: Department of Public Expenditure using bullyboy tactics

Irish Medical Organisation says number of consultants resigning is increasing

Doctors have accused the Department of Public Expenditure of adopting “bullyboy” tactics in negotiations on healthcare issues.

The chairman of the Irish Medical Organisation’s consultants in Galway that the Department of Public Expenditure seemed to exercise a veto over developments in any talks.

“It is really frustrating for us as I am sure they are terribly expert at what they do but what they are not expert at is healthcare provision.”

Dr Peadar Gilligan said the Department of Public Expenditure came to negotiations “with a sense of take it or leave it”.


“(It says) This is the document and we are not moving from this document. That is not a manner in which any representative body would wish to be treated.”

"We have certainly been aware previously where we have a sense that ourselves and the Deparmtent of Health and the HSE are of a like mind on issues but it is the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform that is delaying things."

Dr Gilligan said at recent negotiations at the Workplace Relations Commission involving academic hospital consultants, an interim agreement was reached only for the union to be told the following evening that the deal was not acceptable to the Department of Public Expenditure.

“That is just not a professional way to manage negotiations.”

“That is bullyboy tactics where essentially they are trying to exercise the power of veto which, in fact, they should not have.”

Doctors attending the conference strongly criticised the pay cuts imposed on consultants in 2012 and the two-tier pay structure in place which they argued had lead to over 300 senior medical posts remaining vacant.

The conference was told that the number of consultants resigning from their posts was increasing with one or two doctors handing in their notice each month.

Consultants at the conference passed a motion urging a 30 per cent cut in pay for newly -elected TDs to match the pay reduction for recently-appointed consultants.

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is the former Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent