In an attempt to avert strike action by junior doctors later this month, the government have offered to install free private bars in every hospital in the country.
The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has just begun talks with the HSE in the Labour Relations Commission over working hours and conditions that junior doctors are currently being subjected to.
The government are hoping that the addition of new private bars will for medical staff will help avoid any upset to services.
Announcing the plans today, Minister for Heath James Reilly commented that:
We’ve been successfully using the bar in the Dáil for years when deciding the fate of the country and it should be no different for those in the medical field. Anyone who makes a significant impact on the lives of the Irish people, should do so with the assistance of alcohol. If this is successful we’ll be rolling out bars in all front line services, including the Gardaí, The Fire services, social socials and in education.
The government claim that there are numerous benefits from installing the free bars for the medical professionals. They argue that 24 hour shifts that junior doctors face would “have the edge taken off them“, once a couple of pints were consumed by the doctors.
They claim that time always appears to go quicker when heavily intoxicated and that doctors would be “better craic” and their beside manner would more than likely improve.
Surgeons would also be able to avail of the new private bars, as a couple of whiskeys before a dangerous operation would help settle the nerves, according to the plans outlined by the Minister for Health.
When confronted on the issue of funding the bars, the government told the Potato that all expenses would be footed by the patients in the hospitals, keeping in line with standard practises already in place.
Minister Reilly also hinted at the possibility of raising additional funds for hospitals by getting large drinks companies to sponsor them. Current proposals would see Temple Street in association with Smirnoff vodka, The Mater Hospital sponsored by Guinness and St. James’s hospital would be rebranded to St. Jameson’s Hospital.
The IMO are expected to ballot their members on whether or not to accept this new proposal from government over the coming days with a decision due early next week.
More on these updates as they break.