Irish doctors protest over pay and conditions
- By: Doug Payne
Hundreds of junior doctors staged demonstrations outside hospitals across the Republic of Ireland last week to protest against the state of the country's health service. The unofficial coordinated protests in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and Galway--the second wave in two months--came in advance of a planned march by medical staff on the Irish legislature on 11 September. The doctors leading last week's protest issued a seven point plan demanding that concerns over pay, conditions, training of postgraduate doctors, and public concerns about the health service be addressed without delay.
The country's junior doctors currently work an official week of 65 hours but regularly work 100 hours or more, including non-stop shifts of 72 hours. The lunchtime action on 11 August, which did not affect services at any of the hospitals concerned, was intended to highlight what doctors said was the "lack of commitment to patient care" from Brian Cowen, the minister