Senator Maurice Cummins says recent reports indicating that consultants in many hospitals are not treating the required number of public patients – with some operating a case load that consists of up to 80% private insurees – is a bit rich considering they “are paid large salaries in respect of which it took a long time for contracts to be agreed.”

Asking “who is responsible for ensuring they do the job they are paid to do according to their

contracts – the hospital manager, the Minister for Health and Children or the Health Service Executive? – the Fine Gael Senator said Minister Mary Coughlan must provide answers. After all “it was she who spoke about the improvements for public patients that would flow from agreement on a new consultant contract. Recent reports clearly show that has not happened,” he concluded.

Conceding “it’s not a good picture”, the HSE maintains that

consultant representative associations have signed off on a new monitoring system which will follow up on

individual hospital

consultants who are exceeding their contracted public/private practice ratio.

However, the Irish Medical Organisation says “there are structural issues outside the control of consultants such as the designation of patients.”

WRH wasn’t among the worst offenders.