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Believable, targeted investment is needed in our health system - O'Reilly

13 December, 2016 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Responding to reports today that a HSE recruitment campaign, aiming to attract hundreds of Irish nurses from abroad, recruited only 88 full-time nurses, with half believed to have left already, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health Louise O’Reilly said;

“Today’s revelations from the INMO, following on from a Freedom of Information Request, shows that the HSE recruitment campaign has been an abject failure and highlights serious problems entrenched in the Irish health system. Without a plan for a meaningful reform, our health crisis will continue to hemorrhage staff, and fail to attract and retain the talent that the services and the patients need.

“We are experiencing unprecedented difficulties in encouraging nurses and other health professionals to work in our public health service. This is a result of the toxic work environment within this sector. Nurses need to be able to trust that their work environment will get better and stay better. Any ad hoc, half-hearted recruitment efforts will not cut it.
“Despite the Government investing €244,000 since July 2015 on the Bring Them Home Campaign, they are failing miserably to attract and retain nurses. They had a target of 1,200 nurses, however only 40 are still working in the system. That is a 3% success rate.

“Minister Harris announced the recruitment of 1,000 nurses in the Budget but this is not enough, particularly going on the current record. It will fail like the previous campaign has.

“While announcements are all well and good, this Government need to introduce special measures to ensure that we do better than the 40 retained nurses to date. We have repeatedly seen that recruitment campaigns without other measures to deal with overburdened staff with a lack of resources have failed. The campaign will only succeed if a believable, targeted investment in the public health system is made. 

“Half-hearted commitments to recruit a meagre fraction of what is needed are doomed to failure. Nurses will only be enticed to remain and/or return, if they are confident that our health crisis will improve.” ENDS

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