A key objective of the consultant contract 2008 is to improve access for public patients to public hospital care. The contract sets out clear rules on the level of private practice that may be undertaken by consultants, depending on the individual contract held, and the arrangements for measurement and management of the public/private mix.
Consultants holding a Type A contract are not permitted to engage in privately remunerated professional practice. Consultants holding a Type B contract may undertake private practice on-site, up to a limit of 20% of activity on a casemix-adjusted basis, and limited off-site private practice in cases where the individual consultant held a category I or Category II contract under Consultant Contract 1997.
It is incumbent on publicly-funded hospitals to ensure compliance with the terms of the contract, including the provisions in relation to private practice. In particular, my Department has requested that the HSE satisfy itself that no consultant with a Type B Contract is engaged, or will be permitted to engage, in off-site private practice beyond the level, if any, provided for in their contract.