New Snag Hits NI Tribunals

The Mental Health Commission is now faced with another problem if it wants to begin operating mental health tribunals on the target date of 1 November. The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has advised consultant psychiatrists not to sign a contract with the Commission to provide independent medical examinations of involuntary patients. Mr Fintan Hourihan, Director of Industrial Relations with the IMO, said the contracts are inferior to the consultant common contract.

He said the proposed documents from the Commission were more appropriate to administrative staff rather than independent medical practitioners.

Mr Hourihan said one issue that is causing concern is that the proposed contracts do not recognise a consultant’s clinical autonomy. The IMO said the proposed contracts were drawn up without consultation with the union.