Ireland's consultants crisis

Warning that consultants' contracts deal pioneered by Mary Harney is a prescription for a two-tier health care system, writes Susan Mitchell.

Susan Mitchell

Deputy Editor and Health Editor @susmitchellsbp
26th January, 2014
Nicholas Jermyn, group chief executive, St Vincent's Healthcare at Leinster House for a Public Accounts Committee meeting. Photo: Collins

In a scenario once seen as unthinkable, the Health Service Executive is struggling to fill hospital consultant posts across the country. Teaching hospitals in Dublin, which were formerly meccas for top candidates, are now struggling to recruit candidates of any calibre.

This is not a new development. As far back as 2010, leading doctors at St James's and the Mater warned that problems had emerged after the introduction of the 2008 consultants contract. There was...

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