Monday, April 30, 2007

NCHDs Boycott New Posts

The latest issue of the Irish Medical Times reports on the boycott of the newly advertised consultants posts, which are being offered under new conditions, by NCHDs from all medical specialities.

Junior doctor and outgoing President of Anaesthetists in Training in Ireland Dr Brian Pickering, told Irish Medical Times that their refusal to apply for the posts under the proposed Government contract is not about money, but about “professionalism”. “The overwhelming issue for us is not pay and conditions - the salary that is being presented is difficult to relate to but this is about professionalism and about being undermined by the Government and the Minister in particular. We will not be applying for these posts,” said Dr Pickering, who will finish his training in December and will begin applying for jobs abroad.

“As doctors, we are not in the business of promoting ourselves in the media, we are not seeking re-election, we’re not managers of enterprises, we don’t have the skills necessarily to present our message strongly to the public. It’s impossible to conduct an effective media campaign while doing a busy job and that is the problem. But we don’t want to become people who have to appeal in the media all the time to fight for a cause.

“At the moment we have a professional autonomy that allows us to make decisions we feel are in the best interests of patients and unfortunately the contract as presented to us destroys that, and this is where the strength of feeling arises. It doesn’t arise from €205,000 not being enough, it is down to the future working conditions and our relations with the HSE. They are being aggressive and I don’t think we can work with employers like that.” He said junior doctors who should be applying for posts are now planning to leave the country.

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