Re­cruit­ment de­lays at hos­pi­tal are ‘ridicu­lous’

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS -

Long de­lays in re­cruit­ing se­nior staff at Sligo Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal is con­tribut­ing to lengthy wait­ing times for pa­tients, ac­cord­ing to Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny.

Kenny raised the is­sue of long de­lays in re­cruit­ing se­nior staff in public hos­pi­tals, with the Min­is­ter for Health Si­mon Har­ris TD in the Dáil last week, af­ter hear­ing of the dif­fi­cul­ties that Sligo Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal has ex­pe­ri­enced in get­ting ap­proval for ap­point­ing Con­sul­tants.

Deputy Kenny said, “The re­cruit­ment of a con­sul­tant takes at least nine months from when the po­si­tion is ad­ver­tised in the public hos­pi­tal sys­tem, while in a vol­un­tary hos­pi­tal the process takes closer to nine weeks.

“Very of­ten the HSE tell us that the staff do not ap­ply or can­not be found for se­nior po­si­tions in our hos­pi­tals; how­ever that is not the com­plaint we found in Sligo, it is the length of the re­cruit­ment process and the slow stages set out by the HSE that are de­lay­ing ap­point­ments.

“The ex­am­ple was given in Sligo, that where a sim­i­lar con­sul­tant po­si­tion is ad­ver­tised at the same time in public hos­pi­tal and in a vol­un­tary hos­pi­tal; it was filled in just over two months in the vol­un­tary hos­pi­tal while it was over a year be­ing pro­cessed in the public HSE sys­tem.

“This needs ur­gent at­ten­tion, these de­lays are ridicu­lous and will the Min­is­ter please re­view this process of re­cruit­ment and re­move the blocks and make the ap­point­ment of staff eas­ier and faster in our public hos­pi­tals.” De­manded Deputy Kenny.

Min­is­ter Har­ris replied, “I will look at the is­sue and the HSE is al­ready look­ing at how it can stream­line its re­cruit­ment process. It is worth say­ing, how­ever, that de­spite the re­cruit­ment chal­lenges, we have more doc­tors and nurses work­ing in the health ser­vices this year than last year and had more last year than the year be­fore. We are al­ways look­ing at ways to fur­ther stream­line the process.”

Deputy Kenny added: “Vol­un­tary hos­pi­tals which are mainly owned by pri­vate bod­ies work un­der dif­fer­ent rules to the hos­pi­tals owned by the state.

“They can by­pass many of the stages that cause de­lays in re­cruit­ing in the public hos­pi­tals, be­cause once they get ap­proval to ap­point staff they can move ahead them­selves and em­ploy the con­sul­tant.

“In the public hos­pi­tals, the re­cruit­ment of con­sul­tants is done cen­trally, by the HSE through the Con­sul­tant Ap­point­ments Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee and the Public Ap­point­ment Ser­vice.

“While stan­dards must be up­held, some more ef­fi­ciency needs to be ap­plied to this sys­tem and get our hos­pi­tals the se­nior staff needed so badly in a timely man­ner.”

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