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April 20, 2014

No resolution on rest days issue

By Gary Culliton. A meeting scheduled for last month (September 12) on the long-running consultants’ rest-days wrangle was cancelled at short notice and a further meeting will be sought by the IHCA. Following a meeting with the HSE, the IHCA had expected to receive new proposals to resolve the issue by the end of July.

One-fifth of consultant posts remain vacant

By Gary Culliton. The long-term use of and over-reliance on locums is “sub-optimal and this practice is affecting patient care,” the IHCA President Mr Denis Evoy told the Association’s Annual Conference. “At any given time in the public system, there are approximately 20 per cent of consultant posts either vacant or filled on a temporary [...]

Prestige posts are ‘hit by pay cuts’

By Gary Culliton. It has not proved possible to appoint a Professor of Surgery at Dublin’s Mater Hospital “because for someone to accept this most senior academic post they would actually have to take a pay cut of 30 per cent and worse terms and conditions,” the IHCA Annual Conference heard.

Type C contract flexibility envisaged

By Gary Culliton. There is a shift towards allowing more Type C contracts, “which would make recruitment a little more attractive,” the IHCA has reported.

Type C Committee to meet more often

By Gary Culliton. The Type C Committee plans to meet on a more frequent basis to decide on applications for consultant Type C posts, including applications which are awaiting a decision. Type C hospital consultants can work privately off-campus.

Talks over electronic claims continue

IHCA Senior Executive Officer Aidan O’Reilly gives an account of the ongoing work of the Association in relation to the processing of private health insurance claims.

Acute hospitals ‘alarmingly over-stretched’

IHCA Secretary General Martin Varley outlines the Association’s concerns in relation to the unrealistic budget allocations to secondary care and mental health.

Under the spectre of Budget cuts

IHCA Executive Officer Cormac Ó Culáin fears continued structural underfunding of hospital and mental health services is compromising the quality of care provided to patients.

Maintaining a high-quality workforce

RCSI President Prof Patrick Broe, a speaker at the recent IHCA Annual Conference 2013, believes consultants can assist management to meet current and future challenges in retaining a quality health workforce head-on.

Quarter of contract change applications approved

Seventy applications for change of contract type were submitted to the Consultants Appointment Unit over the past 12 months. More than two-thirds of the applications were for changes to Type B*, Type C or Category II contracts, with the rest including changes to Type A or Type B.

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