Talks On Consultants’ Contract Resume

Negotiations between the Irish Hospital Consultants Association and the Health Service Executive on a revised contract for consultants have resumed. The talks take place against the backdrop of a threat by the Minister for Health, Mary Harney, to impose a new contract, and proceed with the appointment of 300 consultants on an interim salary if an agreement is not reached by 17 April.

The Secretary General of the IHCA, Finbarr Fitzpatrick, said he could not see the negotiations completed within what he called the ‘unrealistic timeframe’ set out by the minister.

In a statement, Mr Fitzpatrick said there is growing concern amongst consultants at the threatened escalation of the nurses’ industrial action. He added that there is now almost 80,000 HSE staff in dispute with their employer.