Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

New leader vows to rebuild IMO

Dr Matthew Sadlier has taken over as the new president of the Irish Medical Organisation

The new president of the scandal-hit Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has vowed to rebuild and renew it over the year ahead.

Dr Matthew Sadlier said he acknowledged the controversy in recent months over the departure of the former chief executive George McNeice, but maintained the IMO had responded with great transparency and a commitment to learning from its mistakes.

"I'm not defending the mistakes that were made over many years but I'm determined that we learn from them so they can not happen again," he said. "The right course of action now is to allow the two review exercises to run their course and reach their conclusions and I intend to respect that process."

The IMO has been in turmoil since before Christmas when it emerged Mr McNeice left the organisation with a retirement package worth 9.7 million euro.

Dr Sadlier, 37, a consultant adult psychiatrist at the Connolly Hospital and the Mater Hospital in Dublin, said he was "humbled and honoured" to assume the role of president at the end of the IMO annual conference in Killarney.

He takes over from Dr Paul McKeown and has maintained he will not accept any financial stipend for his position pending a new review of governance in the organisation.

Dr Sadlier said his focus in the coming months would be to seek a renewal of the IMO through a process of increased engagement with members and greater transparency about its operations.

"The lesson of the last few months has been the need to renew and rebuild the organisation in a way that engages much more dynamically with members and I have no doubt that the leadership of the organisation is committed to this goal," he added.

"This has been a difficult period but I want to ensure that we use it as a platform from which to renew the organisation and I know that our members want the same."

Dr Sadlier also said that the industrial relations agenda would assume an increased importance in the coming year.

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