Thousands of doctors working in public hospitals who are members of The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) are to begin voting from today for strike action.

The IMO says it’s seeking a mandate from its 3,500 consultant and non-consultant hospital doctor members for industrial action, up to and including withdrawal of services, over pay and recruitment issues.

They are looking at strike action on foot of “the Government’s continual failure to meaningfully engage on measures to address the recruitment and retention crisis among the medical profession”.

The ballot will conclude on Tuesday, December 17th.

The IMO say its key demands are an immediate end to the current two-tier pay system which sees medical specialists appointed after October 2012 paid considerably less than their longer-serving colleagues.

It also wants an immediate increase in the number of consultants working in public hospitals.

Former President of the Irish Medical Organisation, Dr. Matthew Sadlier, says they've been left with no choice but to consider this action.

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