May 18, 2022
Urgent and meaningful engagement needed to resolve Medical Scientist strike impasse and stop further healthcare disruptions – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has called on the Government to sanction urgent and meaningful engagement with the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association to resolve genuine long-standing pay and career issues.

He said that these issues have been dragging on for over a decade and that Medical Lab Scientists, who are critical to the delivery of normal acute care and were essential to the Covid-19 testing response, have put off strike action time and again.

Teachta Cullinane raised the issues with the CEO of the HSE Mr Paul Reid at the  Health Committee this morning. It was recognised that, if not resolved quickly, further strike actions will impact negatively on achieving waiting list targets, and that sanction from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is needed to resolve the impasse.

Teachta Cullinane has proposed that the Health Committee engages with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to ensure meaningful engagement and a quick resolution.  

Teachta Cullinane said:

“It is vital that there is urgent and meaningful engagement between the HSE and the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association, supported by the Minister for Health. 

“The Health Committee will engage with the Ministers for Health and Public Expenditure and Reform to ensure meaningful engagement and a quick resolution.

“The Government must sanction honest negotiations with a view to resolving this issue shortly if there is to be any hope of making progress on waiting lists.

“Like many workers in healthcare, there is burn-out among medical scientists and a high number of vacant posts due to recruitment and retention issues.

“Widespread disruptions to health care services, such as cancellations of outpatient appointments and elective procedures, can be avoided with fair and honest dialogue, but have not been avoided today.

“Medical Scientists need a genuine commitment from Government and the HSE to address longstanding concerns.

“It is worth noting that medical scientists have been raising such concerns for years. They avoided industrial action during the pandemic. They worked extremely hard under very difficult circumstances and this must be recognised by the HSE and the Minister.

“Urgent and meaningful engagement is needed to resolve the current impasse and stop further healthcare disruptions.”

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