96% increase in Agency Staff Spend at Naas General Hospital under this Government – Réada Cronin
Sinn Féin Councillor and General Election Candidate for the Kildare North Constituency, Réada Cronin, has today strongly criticised the Government over the huge increase in agency staff spend at Naas Hospital.
The Councillor’s comments are in relation to figures released from the HSE in response to a Parliamentary Question to Sinn Féin, which shows that agency staff spending in hospitals has almost doubled across the state over the past five years.
Cllr Cronin said:
“It is clear from the figures released from the HSE that the recruitment moratorium imposed by this Government on the public service has been a complete failure.
“Instead of reducing costs it has resulted in growing wage bills, reduced services and chronic understaffing.
“Overcrowding in A and E Departments has reached record levels in acute hospitals across the state and Naas hospital has been no exception with regular reports of patients being treated on hospital trolleys.
“The figures show that the spend on agency staff has jumped from just over €3.5 million in 2010 to just under €7 million in 2014.
“Despite all the Government spin about the easing of the recruitment moratorium, it would appear that the spend in 2015 will exceed that of previous years given that it stands at over €5.5 million as of August 2015.
“It is the patients at staff in our hospitals that have paid the price for the Government’s mismanagement of the Health service – there are almost two thousand less nurses now that when this Government took office.
“The paltry allocation of €18 million in additional health spending in this year’s budget is an insult to patients and our frontline health workers and will barely scratch the surface in reversing years of underinvestment in our health system.
“Sinn Féin has shown that real investment in our health service is possible – we provided for an additional allocation of €383 million, which would have allowed for the recruitment of 500 additional nurses, 250 midwives and 250 hospital consultants.
“It is clear that this Government, just like Fianna Fáíl before them, are not fit to be in charge of our health service and it is time to elect a Sinn Féin Government who will put the health needs of citizens front and centre.”