Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Shutterstock/Laddawanpunna
National Service Plan

HSE struggles to recruit public-health doctors, as it launches 2021 spending plan

Over half of the HSE’s boosted budget will go towards non-Covid-19 measures.

THE HSE IS struggling to recruit public-health doctors, despite launching a recruitment campaign over four months ago.

A “significant” recruitment campaign forms a core part of how the HSE is going to spend €20 billion allocated to it for this year, HSE chief Paul Reid said. Hiring public health experts and filling public health roles form a part of this.

The HSE launched a recruitment campaign in October to recruit over 250 people into public-health roles. 

Prior to the pandemic, there were 250 public health workers; people were redeployed from other departments during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and into early summer, and it doubled to over 500.

There are currently 440 public health staff, due to redeployment and extra supports needed elsewhere. 

HSE chief Paul Reid said that last year, there was a net increase of 208 consultants recruited, with plans to recruit 300 more this year.

The recruitment of more staff forms part of the HSE’s National Service Plan for 2021, launched today – an insight into how it plans to spend its budget and improve the health service. 

“The specific question around public-health doctors, is very challenging one,” Reid said today.

“Public health doctors are proving a real issue. We’re advertising on international journals and still having difficulty recruiting at the moment.”

A thousands applications have been received for roles, and 480 people have been interviewed. 

“We are having some success in public health, but not at the senior, clinical and doctor level to the extent that we need.”

The National Service Plan for the HSE details how it will spend the €20.623 billion allocated to it for 2021. This is an increase of €3.5 billion, or 21% on the 2020 National Service Plan.

Some €1.68bn is for Covid-19 spending, while the remaining €1.8bn extra represents an underlying increase of 10.6% in health spending compared to last year, well ahead of the average annual increase of 7.3% received across the years 2016-2020.

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
23
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel