Press Release

Tánaiste Comments on Consultant Contract Talks

Speaking in advance of the commencement of talks on a new consultants’ contract tomorrow (Thursday) the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD, said this evening the consultants contract is a crucial element of reform in health to achieve better hospital services for all patients, including Accident and Emergency services.

“We will be hiring hundreds of new consultants in the next few years. We urgently need to recruit those consultants. I want reformed contract terms to be attractive to existing consultants and to attract top class new consultants. I want patients to be treated in our public hospitals equally based on medical need. The new contract is pro-patient and pro-reform.”

The Tánaiste said “I want the contract talks to be businesslike, fair and driven by patients’ interests. This is the way I have worked with consultants’ organisations over the last 16 months. This way of doing business has delivered clear results that benefit both patients and consultants.”

“As I have said before, we want to reward excellence, experience and innovation among consultants. We want to encourage teamwork. We will open up shared appointments and flexible part-time contracts, in recognition of lifestyle issues and the feminisation of medicine.”

“This is an attractive and exciting agenda for change and improvement. I look forward to consultants’ organisations engaging on this agenda in a constructive spirit.”