Health Minister must act now to tackle agency costs – O’Reilly
Supporting the calls of the INMO on the need for the Department of Health to address the alarming drop in nursing/midwifery figures, as well as addressing the increase in agency cost figures in the HSE, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health Louise O’Reilly TD said that the crisis in the HSE is not taking a recess and just because the Dáil is not sitting it does not mean that the Minster cannot address these issues.
The Dublin Fingal TD said:
“On June 2nd 2016, in response to a question, the Minister for Health agreed that the HSE needs to convert agency staff to directly employed staff. However, figures released today by the INMO show that the HSE are in fact becoming more reliant on agency staff.
“These figures are truly shocking. The over reliance on the most expensive form of healthcare delivery is not acceptable. The crisis in our health service can only and will only be addressed by deploying staff. The figures seen by us today however show that as well as pumping money into expensive agency staff there has been a decrease in the number of nursing staff in the system since May 2016.
“This trend must be addressed by the Minister immediately. We have heard a lot of speculation about the potential downgrading of hospital services which is making people, and patients specifically, very anxious. We have had the news today that there may be industrial action in our ambulance services over staffing levels.
“The crisis in the HSE is not taking a recess and just because the Dáil is not sitting it does not mean that the Minster cannot address these issues.”