HSE to discuss overtime concerns with doctors union tomorrow

Doctors are reportedly being forced to ration life support and critical care due to bed shortages

The HSE has said it will meet with the Irish Medical Organisation tomorrow to clarify its position on overtime.

It comes amid reports that interns at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown in Dublin will not be paid for hours worked before 8am or after 5pm.

The HSE's HR Director Rosarii Mannion has tweeted to say that no staff member will be asked to work overtime without pay.

Earlier, Dr Paddy Hillery from the IMO said hospitals need to encourage and support staff for the long hours they are putting in during the current crisis:

“If there is a time where medical staff are needed on the ward due to the fact that there are ill patients and due to the fact that there is stuff that must be done to treat these patients – they are to be paid for these hours.”

“I am calling on the HSE and the Department of Health to stand by their previous agreements that all hours must be paid.”

Dr Hillery has welcomed the HSE clarification online, warning that no doctor stays late at work for their own benefit.

“These doctors stay late to provide urgent medical treatment for acutely unwell patients,” he said.

“They stay late to discharge patients who are fit to leave the hospital and otherwise would have to spend longer in hospital

“They do not stay late for their own benefit but because the job demands it to keep the hospitals going and people alive.

“These jobs cannot be delayed until the next day. We are dealing with people not paperwork.”

Overcrowding

It comes in the week the INMO recorded a record 2,400 people on hospital trolleys across the country.

483 patients were waiting on trolleys yesterday morning, according to the latest figures from the nursing union. That was down from a high of 677 on Wednesday.

The HSE figures, which don’t count patients on trolleys in wards, found 349 patients - including two children - were waiting for a bed, 14% more than on the same day last year.

Trolley figures generally build early in the week before declining towards the weekend.

Critical care

Meanwhile The Sunday Business Post reports that doctors are being forced to ration life support and critical care due to the severe shortage of intensive care beds.

The president of the Irish Association of Emergency Medicine told the newspaper that doctors were being forced to make very "tough decisions" about which critically ill patients to prioritise.