Doctors' deal and patient care
Sir, – The new consultant pay rates announced by Minister for Health James Reilly throw up some interesting comparisons. A new Type A contract holder will now start on €116,207. This is then reduced automatically by the 10 per cent pension levy, which is in fact an extra tax on all public servants, in addition to their pension contributions. So the starting salary is in effect €95,586 before the usual taxes and levies.
This compares to the present pension of €96,246 for the same Type A contract holder who retired before February 2012 on their 2010 pension entitlements. This pension is not affected by the pension levy.
So for doing the very same job, one person retires and earns more in pension payments than the person who now will take up the same job full-time.
I can certainly see how this may affect recruitment and retention of doctors in Ireland. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – As senior obstetric and gynaecology trainees we wish to add our voices of concern to those of our emergency medicine and paediatric colleagues (September 20th and 22nd). Minister for Health James Reilly’s actions will result in an exodus of highly trained trainees who have provided long years of frontline expert healthcare in Ireland helping to ensure, among other things, that Ireland is one of the safest places in the world to have a baby. Tremendous personal and family sacrifices have been made, including routine working weeks far in excess of those recommended under the European Working Time Directive (2004) and annual upheavals to different hospitals in various cities and countries.
If cuts are necessary then so be it, but to target solely and severely a single frontline group is unfair and ultimately will be hugely detrimental to the future state of our health care system. Senior trainees are valuable strategic assets to the future of Irish healthcare and a sought-after commodity in the international medical labour market. The loss of such expertise will be difficult, more expensive, and perhaps impossible to replace.
Sadly, we feel that expert, highly qualified, highly motivated young doctors will continue to leave these shores to advance the delivery of medicine elsewhere. A generation whose financial stability was eroded by the reckless and populist approach of senior civil servants will witness the destruction of internationally benchmarked high quality healthcare in Ireland. Contrary to Mr Reilly’s statement that “everybody wins”, we believe that patients will ultimately lose. –Yours, etc,