Press Release

Minister for Health and Children calls for talks at the LRC to be reconvened in the interests of patient care

The Minister for Health and Children, Mr Micheál Martin TD, today (13 August) urged all parties involved to return to talks at the Labour Relations Commission. The Minister called for an immediate end to industrial action in the interests of patient care. He said “this industrial action is disproportionate to the issues involved and should be ended immediately”.

The Minister is totally committed to the reduction in working hours of Non Consultant Hospital Doctors in line with the EU Directive on Working Hours. This had been accepted by the IMO in the NCHD Agreement in 2000.

The Minister expressed his support for the efforts of local management to reduce the working hours of hospital doctors and acknowledged the flexibility shown to date by the Health Boards in their efforts to resolve the dispute. It is the Minister´s view, and always has been, that the health service is a 24 hour, seven-day a week service.

The Minister pointed out that National Task Force on Medical Staffing is not an industrial relations forum and that work on reducing working hours should continue in parallel to the work of the Task Force.

The HSEA has indicated to the Minister that they are available for talks and he called on all parties to reconvene at the Labour Relations Commission.