Public Health Doctors preparing for a 3-day strike in January

Doctors in the public health sector are preparing to go on strike for a period of 3 days in January. With an expected rise in Covid cases in January, how will this affect treatment and care? And what led to this decision?

 

The Irish Medical Organisation, met today and have decided to take ‘industrial action” in their 2-decade long struggle to be upgraded to hospital consultant status. With a sweeping 94% of the doctors voting in favour of future action in their “fight for parity of esteem with other parts of the health service”, a statement noted, the doctors are now all set to pause work in what is considered to be one of the most crucial moments of the entire pandemic. With the Health Ministry announcing that it will be rolling out the much-awaited vaccine in the initial months of 2021, the timing of the strike couldn’t be any more devastating.

 

In its statement, The IMO has expressed their dismay at the response of the Health Department since they submitted their initial proposal five months back expressing “Deep disappointment at lack of engagement and misleading comments by Government” since then. 

 

The IMO has is now set to serve notice of their actions to the Health Department and the HSE which are as follows:

 

  • Thursday 14th January: single-day strike by specials and specialist registrars in public health medicine 
  • Thursday 21st January and Friday 22nd January: Two-day strike by specialists and specialist registrars in public health medicine 

 

Public health doctors play an extremely crucial role in the fight against Covid- 19, the doctors participating in the actions are directly involved in key anti-covid actions such as working in nursing homes, schools, universities and analysing “complex contact tracing.

With the post-holiday period predicted to be extremely crucial both in terms of seeing an increase in cases and the vaccine coming, how will this affect the patients depending upon an internally conflicting system?.

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Sonia

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