ACTION PLAN Urgent Irish hospital strike warning as patients face severe disruption over medical scientists’ action
The HSE has warned hospital patients of disruptions and delays tomorrow due to a medical scientist strike.
HSE chiefs say Wednesday’s strike will cancel procedures and medical appointments nationwide.
Tomorrow, 8 am-8 pm, routine GP testing will be suspended.
The HSE warned that while some services will continue, “patients will face widespread disruption.”
HSE says emergency departments are already feeling the impact of this action.
HSE officials said GPs can’t send routine lab tests to hospitals and must refer patients to ERs.
“This is delaying care for non-urgent patients, and delays are expected tomorrow.”
The HSE has urged patients not to call hospitals to cancel appointments due to the uncertain situation.
The HSE has promised to reschedule appointments quickly.
The Medical Laboratory Scientists Association represents nearly 2,000 medical scientists.
They are taking action to address 20% of unfilled medical scientist posts, increased responsibility/workload, and “longstanding pay and career development issues.”
The MLSA said they made “every effort” to avoid disrupting patients’ appointments and procedures, but were “left with no alternative.”
There had been many failed talks with HSE, the Department of Health and Public Expenditure and Reform, and the Public Service Agreement Group.
98% of the MLSA’s 2,000 members voted to strike in November.
If no progress is made, more strikes are planned for May 24 and 25.
May 31, June 1, and June 2 will be action days.
Mr. Casey said the MLSA wants meaningful talks with the HSE and Department of Health.
He added that the MLSA’s issues have been long-standing and the MLSA has tried to resolve them.
MLSA says medical scientists do the same work as hospital lab colleagues but are paid 8% less.
Casey said the MLSA has been fighting for pay and career parity with clinical biochemists since 2001.
Despite the confusion, the HSE is working with the MLSA to make arrangements for tomorrow so they can provide a “limited range of services safely.”
There will be a priority for the sickest and most urgent patients, while dialysis and some cancer services will continue.