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HSE spent €100,000 on ten-day trip to South Asia

The last-minute trip to find junior doctors in India and Pakistan cost more than €10,000 a day.

Planes at the airport in New Delhi, India
Planes at the airport in New Delhi, India
Image: Kevin Frayer/AP/Press Association Images

HSE MANAGERS SPENT more than €100,000 on a ten-day trip to recruit junior doctors in India and Pakistan earlier this year.

The recruitment team of 36 people – including consultants, managers and admin staff – paid out €113,768 during the visit in May this year, including €37,866 on flights alone, James Fogarty reports in the Medical Independent. Another €21,008 was spent on meeting rooms and business centres, while the bill for accommodation and transfers came to €44,913.

The HSE said that it paid economy rates for the flights, and that security concerns – including the killing of Osama bin Laden, which occurred during the trip – made it more expensive.

The trip came amid a last-minute scramble to recruit junior doctors, as it emerged more than a hundred posts in Irish hospitals would be unfilled when medics started their new training posts in July.

For more information, read James Fogarty’s story in the Medical Independent>

Read more: Delays expected at hospitals as junior doctor posts unfilled>

Column: ‘I once worked an 80-hour shift’ – a junior doctor’s story>

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Michael Freeman

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