March 31, 2020
Unfairness in new Public-Private Hospital Agreement not lost on public hospital consultants – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has said the unfairness of the further perpetuation of pay inequality in the new Public-Private Hospital Agreement is not lost on public hospital consultants.

Speaking this morning, Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Yesterday some of the detail of the new Public-Private Hospital Agreement between the government and the private hospitals association became known publicly.

“One of the stand out details of the agreement appears to be the further perpetuation of unequal pay within the public health system.

“It appears that private consultants from the private hospital network will be paid more than some existing HSE consultants, namely, new entrant consultants who joined the public health service post-2012.

“While we need all the staff and resources we can get in the fight against COVID-19, the mechanisms in this new deal are quite insulting to staff in the Public Health Service who, for nearly a decade, have been told to wait for pay equality.

“This situation further perpetuates the feeling amongst many of our public hospital consultants that their dedication and hard work to the public system is not valued. Indeed, it is continually cited as the reason behind the nearly 500 vacant consultant posts in the public health service.

“Our public HSE consultants have kept the health service going for years in the face of understaffing, budget cuts, and increased demand and have been the frontline so far in the fight against COVID-19.

“The Unfairness in the new Public-Private Hospital Agreement announced yesterday is not lost on those hospital consultants loyal to the Public Health Service. 

“Furthermore, the government needs to release full details of the cost per day of this private hospital deal.  While an Taoiseach advised that the full cost won’t be known because the duration of the crisis isn’t known, the daily rate should be known and published now. This further undermines the need for the accountability and oversight of Dáil which should continue to sit through this crisis.”

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