Fear of the end of private care in maternity hospitals under the new Sláintecare contract for obstetricians

In the future, pregnant women may no longer have the option of private postpartum care if they are being treated by an obstetrician who concludes a new employment contract that only obliges them to provide public care.

Although it will be years before private care is removed from maternity hospitals, that is the government’s ultimate goal under the Sláintecare plans.

It is part of the plan to remove fee-based work from all public hospitals.

By 2025, a new specialist employment contract will be introduced in stages, which the medical representatives are now voting on.

The contract’s improved pay, along with other benefits, is expected to attract more specialists to work here and fill hundreds of vacancies.

It does mean, however, that new recruits who accept their terms only work in public hospitals, although they can go on private appointments in their free time.

Most existing obstetricians are unlikely to opt for the new contract and will retain their existing terms, which allow for public and private work.

The new contract has a salary of over €250,000 with allowances that bring remuneration of up to €300,000. The possibility of private care is likely to remain for many years to come.

Former director of the National Maternity Hospital, Dr. Declan Keane said it would see the abolition of maternal choice and implications for midwifery education.

He also said that revenue shortfalls for private patient hospitals would have to be covered by the Treasury Department and maternity hospitals were already underfunded.

The heads of Rotunda Hospital and National Maternity Hospital also said an exception must be made in the new treaty so that private maternity care can continue to give women choice.

The Department of Health said the new contract would allow public hospitals across the healthcare system to be used for public care only.

It indicated that the transition would be gradual and the impact on private maternity care would be limited for the time being.

The contract is currently under review by the Irish Medical Organization and the Irish Hospital Consultants’ Association.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/fears-for-end-of-private-care-in-maternity-hospitals-under-new-slaintecare-contract-for-obstetricians-42230680.html Fear of the end of private care in maternity hospitals under the new Sláintecare contract for obstetricians

Fry Electronics Team

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