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Ireland’s shortage of consultants is partially due to pay disparity

A salary difference between consultants appointed before & after 2012 is among the reasons for Ireland’s shortage of specialists.

The country has 1.25 consultants per 1,000 population – that’s behind the OECD area average of 2.14 per 1,000.

Since 2012, in addition to a general decrease of 10% to salaries for new entrants, newly appointed consultants were singled out for a 30% pay cut. It marks a difference of about €50,000 a year.

Dr Pascal O’Dea is a GP in Bagenalstown – he’s also the South East GP representative on the Irish Medical Organisation.

Speaking on KCLR’s The Way It Is last evening he said the cuts have had disastrous effects noting “The IMO warned Minister James Reilly at the time that this political move would only cause great difficulty in recruiting and now seven years later here we are five hundred vacant consultant posts, a further 120 doctors acting as consultants without specialist training, that has been mentioned by members of the judiciary in hearings in court”.

He also pointed out that unless something changes, it doesn’t look like Ireland will entice consultants home from abroad saying “Well if they’re valued in other countries; they’re valued in Canada, Australia, England, the NHS, other countries put more store on recruitment & retention of these valuable, educated specialists”.

He adds “The whole atmosphere throughout the health service then permeates and young people making decisions as to training in Ireland will they stay on & train in Ireland, they pick up on the negativity & on the downbeat nature of the effects of this reduction and they go where they’re valued and where they’re welcome”.