Health care over there: Doctors to take pay cut to save night service

NIGHT doctors’ wages will be slashed to save the out-of-hours service, it was announced in Tynwald on Tuesday. In an effort to cut costs, the Department of Health had proposed to scrap the Manx Emergency Doctor Service (MEDS) during its quietest period every night – midnight to 8am.

It costs about £800 a night to cover those hours yet the two GPs available only receive an average of seven calls within that time. But professionals criticised this proposal, saying there are many things a paramedic cannot do that a GP can and that people would have to be brought into A and E unnecessarily.

Scrapping the service would have made the Island the first area of the British Isles without 24-hour GP cover.  Following a consultation period the suggestion has been dropped.
Health Minister David Anderson said: ‘The closure of MEDS between midnight and 8am was one of a number of suggested measures to reduce the significant cost of providing this out-of-hour services.’

But he said the clinical lead of MEDS had been consulted and suggested that a reduction in pay for covering those hours was the best way to protect the interest of patients while also achieving savings. Revised rates of payment- which were not disclosed in Tynwald – will take effect from July 1. More.