More than 1,000 Consultants have signed new Public-Only Sláintecare Contract

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More than 1,000 Consultants have signed the new Public-Only Sláintecare Contract since it was launched in March, Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly announced in November.

The Department of Health said this meant that more than one in every four consultants working across our health service are now on the new contract. “Hundreds more applicants are also being processed by the Health Service Executive”

The 1,056 Public-Only Sláintecare Contracts include 241 new entrant consultants who have joined our health service and 815 consultants who have switched from their previous contracts.

The Minister said, “I am delighted to see the positive response to the Public-Only Sláintecare Consultant Contract. The introduction of this contract represents a landmark in delivering Universal Healthcare. It is a progressive contract that puts the interests of patients to the fore. This new contract is facilitating a transition away from the provision of private care in public hospitals and ensuring that state resources are provided in accordance with patient need rather than a patient’s ability to pay. The contract compares very favourably with other health services around the world and it is clearly proving attractive to potential candidates.”

“There has been a significant increase in the number of consultants who are employed across our health service, with a large increase occurring during the last four years. There are 3,928 consultants working across our public health service, with 3,487 of these in permanent posts. In 2019, there were 2,592 permanently filled posts. This means there has been a 34% increase in the number of permanently employed consultants working across our public health service, which is very positive.”

The Department said a key objective of the Public-Only Sláintecare Consultant Contract was to extend the hours that consultants, who were senior clinical decision-makers, were on duty across the health services.

Under this contract, consultants can be asked to work 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 6pm Saturday as part of their core 37-hour week.

“Having an extended consultant presence on duty results in reduced emergency admissions, more rapid and appropriate decision-making, shorter lengths of stay, better patient flow and improved outcomes for patients.

HSE Chief Executive Bernard Gloster said, “It is a very significant development to have over a quarter of all consultants in the HSE now on the new contract, and this has happened over a short period of time. It is an important step towards enabling us to introduce reforms to our health system which will allow for enhanced care and greater out-of-hours and weekend presence of consultants in our hospitals, thus enhancing patient flow. This contract is helping us to operate in a highly competitive international employment market, enticing new entrants into the HSE.”

The new Sláintecare contract includes:

  • Basic pay of €217,325 – €261,051 on a six-point scale.
  • A 37-hour week from 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 6pm Saturday.
  • Additional remuneration for on-call duties and overtime as applicable.
  • Supports for medical education training and research.
  • More flexibility for consultants who want to work share, do less than whole-time, work compressed hours or opt for different work patterns.