28th May 2003
Brennan Report on Health Services
Government has failed to meet Health Strategy target on consultants' contracts
Sinn Fein Health spokesperson Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin TD has called on the Ministerfor Health and Children Micheál Martin TD to ``take on the privileged position ofconsultants'' in light of the Brennan report which highlights their powerful rolewithin the health services. Deputy Ó Caoláin pointed out that the Government hadfailed to reach the target set out in the National Health Strategy for theconclusion of an agreement on a revised contract for hospital consultants.He said there was ``a stark contrast between the position of the hospitalconsultants and the unjust way the Government has treated the public healthdoctors currently in dispute''.
Commenting on the report of the Brennan Commission, Deputy Ó Caoláin said:''This study has once again identified the privileged position occupied by thoseconsultants who manipulate the public health services to facilitate theirprivate practice.
``In the National Health Strategy (Action 89) the Government promises that'greater equity for public patients will be sought on a revised contract forhospital consultants'. This was to be achieved by agreement of a revisedcontract for hospital consultants by the end of 2002. The Government has missedthis target. In January I tabled a Dáil question to the Minister for Health andChildren asking when an agreement will be reached on a revised contract forhospital consultants. The Minister was unable to indicate when negotiations willconclude or even whether an agreement will be reached.
``Through their professional bodies the consultants have a veto on the deploymentof their services throughout the health system. Too often their decisions arebased on their sense of the career needs of their profession rather than on thehealthcare needs of service users. This must change or else reform of the systemwill prove impossible.
``This report comes at the height of the public health doctors dispute. There isa stark contrast between the position of the hospital consultants and the unjustway the Government has treated the public health doctors who work solely in thepublic sector. With talks due to begin this Friday I urge the Minister forHealth and Children Mícheál Martin to ensure that public health doctors get afair deal.'' ENDS
Sinn Fein Press Office, 44 Parnell Square, Dublin 1
Tel: +353-1-8726100 and +353-1-8726839 · Fax +353-1-8733074
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org · Website: http://www.sinnfein.org
Sinn Fein · Sinn Fein Documents