Dáil Éireann - Volume 530 - 08 February, 2001

Written Answers. - Non-consultant Hospital Doctors.

105. Mr. McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children the terms of the pay deal negotiated with junior hospital doctors; and when this agreement came into force. [3493/01]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): The NCHD Agreement 2000 came into effect from May 2000. The terms of the pay deal negotiated with non-consultant hospital doctors include a very significant improvement in the overtime rates. In addition, a senior manager is to be appointed in each major hospital with specific responsibility to manage NCHD hours. A concerted effort will be made to improve the working conditions and to reduce NCHD working hours, with particular attention to long periods of continuous duty.

[426] Another important aspect of the agreement is the provision of a substantial training package to be put in place amounting to £10 million per annum. There will also be new procedures put in place to deal with NCHD grievances at local level. Relocation expenses are also to be paid to NCHDs who have to move residence as part of formal rotation schemes.

106. Mr. McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children if junior hospital doctors are now paid per hour when rostered for duty; the rate of pay for those hours; the new average monthly salary, including rostered hours, for each grade of junior doctor; if these pay arrangements are being implemented uniformly in each health board area; if the payroll costs in many hospitals have exceeded budget due to this new deal; and the arrangements he will put in place to ensure that hospitals are recouped the additional finances required in order that they do not have to cut other services to stay within budget. [3494/01]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Non-consultant hospital doctors are paid a basic salary for working a 39 hour week. Overtime is paid at time and a quarter for the first 15 hours over the 39 and then at a rate of time and a half for all subsequent hours. It is not possible to provide the Deputy with an average salary including overtime, allowances etc. as the hours worked by our NCHDs vary nationally.

Excluding overtime and allowances, the average basic monthly salaries, total of all points on each scale divided by the number of points on each scale, to the various grades of NCHDs are as follows:

Intern

£1,590

House Officer

£2,170

Registrar

£2,572

Senior Registrar

£3,238

Specialist Registrar

£3,026

I am not aware of any specific implementation problems relating to payment of the new rates. Hospital budgets have been adjusted for 2001 to reflect the costs associated with these rates. The question of cutting other services to stay within budget does not arise.