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Key Government Health Plans Are Under Threat If More Senior Doctors Aren't Hired

Health minister Wicklow TD Simon Harris was set to give the keynote address at the Irish Hospital Consultants Association's annual conference today.

But the doctors' group says he's pulled out at the last minute.

The Children's Hospital, the Children's Hospital, the National Cancer Care Progamme, the National Maternity Strategy; major initiatives in urology and intensive care, and the National Mental Health plan.

a laundry list of big government initiatives are running into trouble because of a lack of senior doctors in the health service.

That's according to The National Hospital Consultants' Association , which is holding its annual conference today.

It says one in every five consultant jobs are now vacant, and there are serious issues with hiring and keeping senior doctors on the roster

Doctors are set to hear research on burnout and stress among their colleagues -- and the stark contrast between working conditions here and overseas.

Also billed to appear was health minister Simon Harris

He was supposed give the keynote address at the summit, and debate opposition spokespeople on health.

But organisers say Minister Harris pulled out of the conference at the last minute -- citing a scheduling conflict.

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