I move amendment No. 5:
In page 7, subsection (2)(a), to delete line 33.
This amendment refers to the position of doctors in training. Discussions are taking place today between the IMO, the Department of Health and hospital managements. My party will move an amendment later regarding the opt out on an individual and collective basis. The Bill has got it wrong with regard to doctors in training. There are disturbing reports of doctors working three days and nights consecutively.
While this measure stems from the directive, there is a requirement on us as legislators to include doctors and training in the legislation and to avail of the proposals which myself, Deputy Harney and others will make to allow for a collective agreement between the junior doctors and management. In the interests of the health of junior doctors and the safety and health of the patients they treat, it is important that an agreement is reached at discussions which are currently underway and which I support.
However, it is equally important for us as legislators to send the right signal to doctors in training because the present state of affairs is unsatisfactory. While we can exclude sea fishing, other workers at sea, the Garda Síochána and Defence Forces, we should not exclude junior doctors. They should be included in the legislation.