18 April 2002 Edition

Resize: A A A Print

Consultants demand 20% wage rise

Which group of medical professionals took on the vested interests of government, hospital managers and the medical hierarchy to win safer and saner working conditions for themselves, their co-workers and a much better deal for patients?

Who were forced to negotiate into the night for these basic rights and then had to impose a six-week deadline to ensure that their hard won achievements would not be undermined?

It was nurses of course, the frontline medical staff in our crisis ridden health service, who forced government to act on making Accident and Emergency departments better funded and better run.

Who stands opposed to the nurses proposals, didn't stay up in marathon negotiations and this week sought a 20% wage increase? It was hospital consultants of course.

Consultant wages in the public sector currently range from Euro110,306 to Euro136,929. The differing rates depend on how much scope there is for these doctors to earn money from private sector patients on top of their public salary. Many consultants in the VHI and private system can double their public sector wages.

The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), who are lobbying for the increase on behalf of consultants, want their salaries to be on a par with judges and high ranking civil servants, who do not have lucrative private practices to supplement already high incomes.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1