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Consultancy Contracts

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 23 July 2020

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Questions (287)

David Cullinane


287. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health his plans to award consultant contracts to specialists in public health medicine in line with their specialist training and experience; the number of such contracts that will be awarded in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17881/20]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

It is my intention that Specialists in Public Health Medicine will be awarded consultant status, taking account of related proposals in Sláintecare, in the Scally Report (Cervical Check) and the Report of Crowe Horwath on the Specialty. It is also consistent with the Programme for Government commitment to reshape our public health system.

This issue was being progressed as part of a body of work being led by the HSE’s leadership team and CMO’s Office to finalise future structures for Public Health in Ireland to enable Sláintecare. This work was impacted by the need to focus on addressing COVID-19 in recent months. However, the HSE has now resumed consideration, focusing on health protection in the first instance.

I am committed to awarding consultants status to the Specialists as soon as it is feasible to do so. It is not possible to be definitive in terms of a timeline, given that consideration of the new structures has to take account of the changed circumstances brought about by COVID-19. Also, similar to new entrant consultants taking up the Slaintecare Contract, it will be necessary to amend the FEMPI Acts to enable pay increases for the Specialists, given that they currently prohibit pay increases for serving public servants.