Roisin Shortall TD

The HSE’s latest recruitment freeze is a short-sighted decision that will directly impact patient care, according to Social Democrats Health Spokesperson Róisín Shortall.

“By OECD standards, Ireland ranks only about halfway in terms of health funding. In this week’s Budget, the Government were throwing around money like it was going out of fashion. At the same time, however, critical health services are being squeezed.

“The Government are in denial about the need to adequately fund healthcare. In Budget 2023, they failed to provide sufficient funding to meet patient need. This was spelled out to them by the HSE at the time but they ignored the warnings.

“Of particular concern is the decision not to recruit any further junior doctors. This is at a time when the HSE have been struggling to recruit sufficient numbers of GPs and consultants. If there is a restriction on the pipeline of junior doctors, we will pay a high price for that in the coming years.

“A freeze on the recruitment of homecare staff is also inexplicable. Already we have more than 6,000 older people approved for homecare who are yet to receive that service due to staff shortages.

“A failure to provide adequate numbers of homecare staff will not only penalise older people but will inevitably lead to additional pressures on Emergency Departments across the country.

“The extension of the HSE’s recruitment embargo is an example of the worst kind of short-sighted thinking by this Government.”

October 13, 2023

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