Fine Gael National Press Office
Press Statement by Jerry Buttimer TD
Cork South Central
Friday, 2nd November 2012
Fine Gael Cork South Central Deputy and Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, Jerry Buttimer, has said Labour Relations Commission (LRC) recommendations on reform of consultant work practices must now be implemented. Deputy Buttimer was speaking following release by the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) of survey results showing that 57% of respondents support the LRC recommendations.
“The results of a survey of members by the IHCA show that a majority support the IHCA proposals. This support now needs to be actioned and the implementation of the Labour Relations Commission recommendations should proceed as soon as possible.
“The positive outcome from the survey places an obligation on the representative organisation to act on the views of the majority of respondents. The IHCA has confirmed that 57% of its members who responded to its survey favoured proposals recommended by the Labour Relations Commission. The IHCA should now engage in a process with the HSE and Department of Health to ensure that the reforms are implemented.
“When delivered, the proposals of the LRC have the potential to secure a saving of €220 million each year. The proposals will ensure senior doctors will be available any five out of seven days, including at weekends and nights. This will mean quicker decision making. Clearly these proposals have the potential to deliver real reforms which will benefit patients while securing significant cost savings. There is now an onus on all parties to put the proposals into effect as soon as possible.
“While progress has been slower than would have been hoped, the cooperation of all parties has already secured the delivery of some reform and savings. I acknowledge the contribution of consultants in achieving an increase of 20% in productivity and in saving 70,000 bed days as has been set out by the IHCA. I understand that consultants have a number of practical concerns and I hope that the HSE can address any legitimate practical impediments so that the recommendations can be implemented.”