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Hospital vacancies further evidence of serious mismanagement of the health service - Louise O'Reilly TD

26 August, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health Louise O'Reilly TD, responding to the release of figures detailing an unacceptably high level of nursing and midwifery vacancies by the INMO, has criticised the government’s approach to the management of health service recruitment.

Teachta O'Reilly said:

"The effective recruitment embargo in the health service has resulted in at least 1,317 funded nursing and midwifery posts being left vacant in our acute hospitals, according to figures provided by the INMO this morning.  

"Nursing and midwifery graduates, who have been promised full-time positions by the Minister for Health on numerous occasions, are graduating without job offers and are preparing to go abroad to work. That is the reality of the situation and the loss of graduate nurses - in the face of serious staff shortages - is a prime example of the serious mismanagement at the heart of the health service.

"All the while, the spend on agency staff to fill the gaps created by the failure to adequately recruit staff continues to rise.

"The fact that one in six midwifery posts is vacant is a particularly disturbing figure as it impacts directly on women’s healthcare. After all the talk of women-centred medicine and the CervicalCheck scandal, we see yet again that women’s healthcare is being impacted hardest by the failure to properly recruit health service staff.

"There is no doubt that the recruitment embargo is going to increase the level of staff burnout and will inevitably impact on patient care. The embargo must be lifted and serious efforts made to reduce the agency staff bill."

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