Belfast Telegraph

Talks in doctors' working hours row

Doctors have agreed to go back into negotiations to stop a repeat of yesterday's strike over working hours.

The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) said it got an indication from the the Health Service Executive (HSE) that it was prepared to look at "financial sanctions" to prevent hospitals forcing junior medics to work 24-hour shifts.

The IMO will join talks following an invitation from the Labour Relations Commission.

The talks follow appeals by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Health Minister Dr James Reilly for both sides to attempt to resolve the long-running dispute.

Doctors have warned that a second strike could last two days.

Fifty-one hospitals were hit by a walkout by 3,000 non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHDs) with pickets outside at least eight hospitals for most of the day.

About 12,000 outpatient appointments were cancelled and about 3,000 operations postponed as a result of the strike.

The IMO's non-consultant hospital doctors' committee said it was willing to hear the HSE's views a day after the first strike.

A spokesman said: "I think yesterday's Day of Action has demonstrated the huge level of public support for our campaign for safer hours for NCHDs and for patients. The ball is now in the HSE's court if they wish to avoid an escalation of the dispute."


From Belfast Telegraph