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IMO condemns pause in hospital recruitment

26 May 2016

Dr John Duddy, IMO President

A recruitment pause within the HSE would mean hospitals being “condemned to continue to operate at occupancy levels we know are unsafe”, the IMO has warned.

While the IMO President Dr John Duddy described as “positive” the union’s first recent meeting with Minister for Health Simon Harris, he reiterated that 300 consultant posts remained vacant and newly qualified doctors were still emigrating.

“We know the Minister is anxious to ensure we can recruit and retain our doctors,” said Dr Duddy, who described the latest recruitment move as ‘flying in the face’ of that approach.

The HSE insisted last week that the recruitment pause would not have an impact on a hospital’s ability to recruit where funding existed to facilitate that recruitment — for example in the case of replacement posts or where funding had been allocated for particular roles under the HSE service plan or in areas of critical care or emergency services.

All posts were being actively monitored at Group and national level to ensure that clinical risks were appropriately managed, added the Executive. An extra 1,300 staff had been employed in the health sector in the first quarter of 2016, with the majority of those in front-line positions, it added.

While existing contractual commitments would be honoured, the Groups have been told that no further job offers should be made without the signed agreement of the Hospital Group CEO.

Staffing levels at the end of April were 3,616 greater than 2015 figures.

Gary Culliton

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times