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LETTERKENNY HOSPITAL DOUBLES COST OF AGENCY STAFF – SINN FEIN

first_imgLetterkenny General HospitalDeputy Pearse Doherty has blasted the Government over the spiralling costs of employing agency staff at Letterkenny General Hospital.Deputy Doherty’s comments come after it was revealed that since coming to power back in 2011, the amount of money spent on agency staff at the hospital had more than doubled by the end of 2014 under the coalition partners.Deputy Doherty said that fFollowing the introduction of the general moratorium on recruitment and promotions across the public sector back in March 2009, both the public and civil service have seen a huge reduction in staffing levels – including the numbers employed within the health service.“This has meant that the HSE has been prevented from hiring permanent staff members and, save for certain exemptions which were made for the recruitment of specified grades, positions within the Health service have had to be filled via the use of costly and often unreliable agency staff.” “This has created a situation where the amount of money which hospitals have had to spend to employ agency staff such as nurses, doctors and consultants has ballooned over the last few years – this has also been the case at Letterkenny General Hospital.”“In fact, before the current Fine Gael and Labour Government came to power, the cost of employing agency staff at Letterkenny General Hospital was €2,974,000 in 2010. Fast forward four years later, and this cost had more than doubled to €6,724,000 in 2014 under the current Government parties.”“In essence, after less than four years, Fine Gael and Labour have managed to increase the dependency on agency staff at Letterkenny General by such an extent that expenditure on agency personnel at the hospital has gone up by over 125% – this is simply scandalous.”“The government’s recruitment embargo, which we were told would reduce the cost of running the health service, has had precisely the opposite effect and our acute public hospitals – including Letterkenny General – have subsequently been crippled by spiralling wage costs and chronic understaffing.” “Over the last number of years, hospitals have been subject to rigid employment control measures which have seen hospitals having to comply with employment ceilings and staffing targets, all of which have simply increased reliance on agency staff and overtime.”“While the Government claims that the control framework on employment has helped to deliver a more effective and efficient public service overall, this couldn’t be any further from the truth; they have merely decimated frontline services not to mention forced highly skilled and experienced nurses and doctors out of the country.”“Instead of aiming to make savings in the public sector pay bill by narrowing the enormous pay disparity which exists within it such as Sinn Féin has long been calling for, lower paid workers have borne the brunt of Government cuts while newly qualified graduates have been blocked from even having the opportunity to enter the sector.”“Worringly, despite the Government’s spin about an easing of the recruitment embargo within the public sector, this year the wage bill for agency staff at Letterkenny General looks set to match if not surpass last year’s figures with €6,387,000 having already been spent as of August this year.”“This colossal spend comes at a time when overcrowding at our acute public hospitals has reached record levels as was seen earlier this year during the crisis at Emergency Departments across the state.” LETTERKENNY HOSPITAL DOUBLES COST OF AGENCY STAFF – SINN FEIN was last modified: November 15th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:agency staffCosthospitalletterkennySinn Feinlast_img read more

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