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Health service spent €318m on temporary agency staff in 2018 - Louise O'Reilly TD

19 February, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has called the spending of €318m on temporary agency staff by the HSE a “sickening waste of money” and a “threat to the State’s finances”.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The continuous spending of hundreds of millions of euro by the HSE on temporary agency staff is outrageous; it is a sickening waste of money and is a threat to the State’s finances.

“2018 saw the single biggest increase in agency spending since 2014.

“The spending total jumped by €26m on the previous year to a staggering €318m for 2018.

“Since 2011 Fine Gael have spent almost €2bn on temporary agency staff to fill staffing gaps because they have continuously failed to address the recruitment and retention crisis.

“This spending is without doubt one of the greatest wastes of money, not only in the health service, but in the whole State.

“The over-reliance on the use of costly and more expensive agency staff is a direct result of the escalation of the recruitment and retention crisis under this government.

“Agency staff were originally intended to plug temporary / short term gaps in rosters but these figures prove that far from temporary there is now a reliance on agency staff.

“Some hospitals dependency on agency staff is enormous – for instance Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda spent €9m on agency staff, the Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise has spent over €10m, while University Hospital Limerick spent over €11m.

“The Minister cannot plead ignorance or shirk blame here, this is his mess; he is responsible that the health service is haemorrhaging nearly a million euro day on temporary agency staff to fill staffing gaps because he has failed to address the recruitment and retention crisis."PQ Response Agency Staff

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