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Here's how many people have left the HSE over the past four years

Hint: it’s a lot.

NEW FIGURES SHOW that more than 10,000 people have left the health service in the past four years as the HSE has simultaneously had its budget slashed massively and imposed a hiring freeze.

The total number of employees has fallen from 111,770 in 2009 to 101,451 in May of this year.

The biggest drop has been in the area of general support staff, who have had their numbers reduced by more than one fifth. This category of staff includes caterers, maintenance and cleaning staff. Some of the services have been outsourced to private companies in  a bid to save money.

The number of medical and dental staff has remained almost the same, but the number of nurses has dropped significantly as many graduates emigrate rather than choose to work in Ireland.

The changes between March 2009 and May 2013 are:

  • Medical/Dental staff: + 165
  • Nursing staff: – 3,987
  • Health and social care professionals: – 170
  • Management/admin: -2,266
  • General support staff: -2,751
  • Other patient and client care: – 1,311

Almost 3,000 employees recently applied for a paid career break in the HSE but the vast majority of applications had to be rejected.

A senior HSE executive told that the service is struggling to continue to provide frontline services in the face of ongoing severe cuts and the high number of people leaving.

Read: HSE receives 2,700 applications for career breaks – far more than expected >

Read: Over 49,000 people are waiting for inpatient or day case treatments >

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