Tony O’Brien: Draft contract adds to bad blood between Department of Health and consultants

The newly published proposed Sláintecare consultant contract has led to yet another major row between the department and the very people on whom it relies for high-quality treatment outcomes

While the Department of Health owns and drives these contract “negotiations”, it is either the HSE or individual state-funded hospitals that legally employ consultant doctors#.

Yet another bitter row has erupted between consultant doctors, including trainee consultants, and the Department of Health. Such disputes are rarely far below the surface, but this time there is an intensity and anger that suggests relationships are at an all-time low – and that’s saying something.

The row was sparked by the publication of a proposed new contract of employment, labelled as the Sláintecare consultant contract, and intended to apply to all new ...