Preliminary talks on the implementation of specialist recognition for Public Health Doctors have been held between the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Department of Health.
A majority in the latest Public Health Specialist vote backed the proposed terms of the new agreement earlier this month introducing specialist recognition.
The completed ballot, carried out through the IMO, returned a vote of 87 per cent in favour of accepting the agreement.
Under the agreement, the Department of Health and HSE have agreed to create 84 Consultant grade posts in Public Health; 34 of these are to be filled over the coming 12 months; a further 30 between June 2022 and June 2023; the final 20 posts are to be filled between June 2023 and December 31 of that year.
Appointments are to be made under the Consultant Common Contract.
The agreement allows for existing appointments to move to any new contract agreed for consultants; it provides a new model for Public Health Medicine which reforms the operating and governance structure within Public Health, as well as introducing a more fit-for-purpose National and Regional management structure across each of the pillars of Public Health.
The IMO has said it would actively monitor the implementation of this agreement.
Dr Anne Dee, IMO Public Health Committee Chair, described the agreement as the culmination of a 20-year campaign to put Irish Public Health Medicine on a par with the rest of the medical profession.