Hospital consultant group says it has not signed up to Haddington Road agreement

IHCA ‘gravely concerned’ at working conditions in public hospitals

Dr James Reilly: IHCA is seeking talks with the Minister

Dr James Reilly: IHCA is seeking talks with the Minister


The Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) has said it has not yet agreed to sign up to the Haddington Road deal on public service pay and productivity.

In a letter to the Health Service Executive yesterday the association, which represents more than 2,000 senior hospital doctors, said it was seeking talks with Minister for Health James Reilly regarding what it described as “the growing consultant recruitment crisis” as well as proposed changes to rest arrangements and continuing medical education changes.

“The IHCA is gravely concerned about the working conditions that exist in Ireland’s public hospitals.”

Patient care
It continued: “A growing number of hospitals and mental health services cannot recruit an increasing number of advertised hospital consultant posts or retain many of its existing consultants. As a result, the number of consultants is far below what is required which has a serious impact on patient care, patient waiting lists and increases clinical risk.”

In the letter, IHCA secretary general Martin Varley said the association would welcome talks with the HSE to clarify several issues arising from the Haddington Road agreement.

“As you will be aware, the association was not party to the Labour Relations Commission discussions which led to the Haddington Road agreement. Accordingly, the IHCA has not registered an agreement with the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) to date.”

The Coalition’s position has been that the terms of financial emergency legislation would be applied on any public service group that did not sign up to Haddington Road in an agreement lodged with the LRC.

Engage in talks
In November, the HSE

indicated to the IHCA that it needed clarity on whether the association planned to register its agreement on the Haddington Road deal with the LRC before it could engage in talks which the association was seeking in relation to contractual, work practice and other health service matters.