Fine Gael Cork North Central Senator and Seanad Spokesperson on Health, Colm Burke, has today (Thursday) said urgent action must be taken quickly to stem the €21 million annual cost of employing junior doctors (NCHDs) under agency contracts. The call follows a commitment given by Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly TD, to commence a review of the training and employment structures which exist for junior doctors in Irish hospitals. The commitment was given at a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children today following questions from Senator Burke on the matter.
“The HSE has, for some time, been contracting agencies for the provision of NCHDs. The figures which I have obtained demonstrate a spend of €8,565,200 on junior doctors alone for the first six months of this year.