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Fine Gael failure to control agency staff spending crippling the health service - Louise O'Reilly TD

6 August, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD


Speaking this morning Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O'Reilly TD has said that rampant spending on temporary agency staff, instead of directly employed staff, is financially crippling the health service.
 
Teachta O'Reilly said:
 
“Figures released to myself have shown how rampant spending on temporary agency staff instead of directly employed staff is financially crippling the health service.
 
“The data from the HSE revealed that the health service has spent over €135 million on agency staff in the first five months of the year. That is a spending of €900,000 a day on agency staff in hospitals and community healthcare organisations.
 
“Since Fine Gael came to government in 2011 the health service has spent over €2.1 billion on temporary agency staff.
 
“Sinn Féin have continuously raised this matter with the Minister for Health and told him that huge sums of money can be saved if he addresses the recruitment and retention crisis and recruits and retains directly employed HSE staff, which are significantly less expensive than agency staff.
 
“This practice is not good value for money in the first instance, and it is not good for patients or other full-time staff. There can be no doubt that the recruitment embargo on full time staff is clearly causing an increase in agency spending.
 
“The reliance on agency staff in some hospitals is enormous and very worrying – in five months more than €6 million was spent at University Hospital Limerick, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda saw spending of nearly €4 million, Naas General Hospital spent €4.8 million, while in the midlands, Mullingar, Portlaoise, and Tullamore saw spending of €3.7 million, €4.4 million, and €3.6 million respectively.
 
“The over-reliance on the use of costly agency staff is a direct result of the escalation of the recruitment and retention crisis under this government; unless the recruitment and retention crisis is addressed then this rampant agency spending will continue to cripple the health service."

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