Ireland's junior doctors to strike
- By: Doug Payne
The Republic of Ireland's junior doctors have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action in support of claims relating to pay and working conditions. The country's hospitals--severely affected by a nine day national nurses strike six months ago--are working on new contingency plans.
The non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHDs) are likely to target specific hospitals first--possibly the country's largest, for the publicity value, or a group of hospitals recently “named and shamed” for demanding hours in excess of the contracted 65 hours a week and for short-changing junior doctors on both pay and overtime.
At one hospital the doctors had to resort to using the country's Freedom of Information Act to find out what overtime payments were owed to them. It is hoped that emergency cover will be provided with elective admissions and outpatient services bearing the brunt of any disruption. But the Irish Hospital Consultants Association had already written to the health