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52% increase in Agency Staff spend at University Hospital Galway under this Government – Trevor Ó Clochartaigh

17 November, 2015

Sinn Féin Senator and General Election Candidate Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has today criticised the Government over the huge increase in spending on agency staff at University Hospital Galway.

The Senator made the comments in relation to figures released by the HSE in response to a Sinn Féin Parliamentary Question.

The Senator said:

“Despite all the Government spin in relation to the easing of the recruitment moratorium it would appear that the amount spent on agency staff in University Hospital Galway is set to match or exceed that of last year.

“The figures, which show the amount of money spent in the hospital over the past five years and up until August this year, show that the amount of money spent on agency staff in the University Hospital jumped from just over €2 million in 2010 to over €3 million for the first 8 months of 2015.

“This increase is a clear indication that the recruitment moratorium has failed – instead of reducing costs on our hospitals it has led to spiralling wage bills and chronic understaffing.

“It is the patients who have paid the price for the sheer incompetence of this Government as chronic overcrowding continues in our acute hospitals across the state.

“Sinn Féín has consistently shown that it is possible to invest in our public services and protect our vulnerable citizens. Our alternative budget provided for an additional investment of €383 million in our health service, which would have provided for the recruitment of 500 additional nurses, 250 midwives and 250 hospital consultants.

“Instead this Government chose to allocate a paltry €18 million to our health services while going to great lengths to protect those at the top.

“Fianna Fáíl, Fine Gael and Labour have clearly shown that they are incapable of providing a first class health service for the benefit of all our citizens.

“It is time to elect a Sinn Féin Government that will invest in our health system and ensure that the needs of citizens are placed front and centre.”

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