The Irish Medical Organisation recommended yesterday that junior doctors say 'yes' to the Labour Relations Court proposals that will bring an end to junior doctors working shifts more than 24 hours and will establish financial sanctions to hospitals that are in breach of the European Directive on working hours.
The HSE have agreed that by 14 January, no doctor will work more than a 24 hour shift and that all hospitals will be compliant with working time directives by the end of 2014.
Under the agreement with the IMO, any hospital found to be in breach will be sanctioned. Hospital managers will also face sanctions if their hospital breaks the rules.
No additional payment will be made to doctors under the new agreement.
Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland, Barry O'Brien, National HR Director for the HSE said he didn't think the word "sanction" was an appropriate word to use, but said under the agreement there is a method in place to "incentivise compliance".
He said the IMO and the HSE had agreed to work collectively to maximise compliance by the end of 2014.
Hospitals that are found to break the rules in relation to working hours will be hit financially.
O'Brien said that the amount of money is dependent on the grade of hospital, stating that there are three bands of hospitals.
The bigger hospitals will be hit with a yearly sanction of €650,00, band two hospitals will be hit by €350,000 and band three by €225,000.
He said the hospitals would be penalised pro rata on a monthly basis if they haven't complied.
When asked what punishments hospital managers will face, he said that they will be subject to "HR procedures and policies," which he clarified could be the reassigning of the responsibility of implementation to another manager or another manager could be reassigned their job.
He said that the HSE were working to reschedule patients that had their appointments and operations cancelled last week during the strike.
O'Brien said they were taking it in good faith that an agreement had been made with the IMO and said they would not be waiting for the outcome of the ballot on November 14 to reschedule patient appointments.
"We are taking it in good faith the agreement made and we are taking action, today, to reschedule those people who were discommoded last week," he said.
You can now be referred for testing if you are in one or more of the categories for priority testing and meet the testing criteria below.
If you are not in a priority group we cannot refer you for testing at this time........
As you will know, GPs can only refer patients for Covid19 tests who fit the current criteria for testing - meaning a fever plus either cough or shortness of breath, along with being in one of the at risk groups.
Since Monday 16th March, GPs can order a test for Covid-19 by electronic referral following a phone consultation with the patient..........
As we all know by now, we have seen the first cases of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland over the past few days.
We have yet to receive confirmation of the delivery date for the 2019 'Flu vaccines but we hope to have them by end of September.
We will update once we know more...