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06 / 03 / 2008 - Doctors fight back
Dublin -- Doctors opposed to the the appointment of a political majority on the Medical Council say they plan to run six candidates in the upcoming elections for a new Council. The doctors are all members of the Medical Council Member ship Support Committee (MCMSC) who adamantly opposed the new Medical Practitioners Act which they say was used by the Health Minister in an attempt ‘to seize control’ of medical ethics.
Their campaign has been boosted by news that the Association of General Practitioners (AGP) has announced they will not run candidates against the MCMSC candidates in the election.
The AGP had previously earmarked two possible candidates for election, but a spokesperson for the AGP said that the Executive of the Association had discussed the issue at a recent meeting in Portlaoise, and had decided to instead fully support the MCMSC candidates.
Consultant psychiatrist and Chairman of the MCMSC, Dr Seán Ó Domhnaill, is among those six running for election, in the “Any Registered Doctor” category. If the AGP had run candidates, it would have been in the same category as Dr Ó Domhnaill.
‘We are going to row in behind the other organisation and we are not going to run anybody against them in the same slot,’ Dr Mary Grehan of the AGP told the Irish Medical News this week.
‘We have asked all our members to vote for Seán Ó Dom hnaill’s candidates,’ she confirmed. ‘We are rowing in 100 per cent behind them and won’t attempt to split the vote in the election.’
On behalf of the MSMSC Dr Ó Domhnaill welcomed the move, and said the AGP’s trust in the MCMSC would not be misplaced. He said: ‘We’re delighted with this co-operation. It shows the extent to which the medical profession will work together to protect medical ethics and best medial practice.’
He also said that medical practitioners has been appalled by the power-grab effected by Minister Mary Harney with the passing of the Medical Practitioners Act which gave the Minister power to appoint a political majority onto the Medical Council. ‘We believe that a political majority is bad for Irish medicine, bad for patients and bad for medical ethics which become subject to the ideology of the Minister for Health,’ added Dr Ó Domhnaill. ‘And this election will give us the opportunity to ensure that opposition to political control of medicine is strongly heard.’
Dr Ó Domhnaill confirmed that six doctors would be nominated for election by the closing date on March 19th.
Source: Irish Family Press