Tony O’Brien: Donnelly must avoid backlash to proposed consultants’ contract

In bypassing the relevant bodies before they have completed their member consultation processes, the Minister for Health is taking a huge gamble

The Minister for Health is determined to press forward with the new consultant contract that emerged at the beginning of December after lengthy negotiations with hospital consultant representatives.

For Stephen Donnelly, the very centre of his political objectives, and his political legacy as minister, depend on this Sláintecare contract. What he hopes to gain from pressing ahead is fairly clear. Much less clear is how big this unilateral gamble is, since the Irish Hospital Consultants ...