Nurses wooed overseas with lucrative incentive packages
Major health employers from the UK, Australia and Canada will step up the international recruitment drive for Irish nurses today with tempting incentive packages at a major recruitment fair in Dublin.
One hospital in the Isle of Man is offering to pay a nurse €277 a month to subsidise rent or a mortgage for two years if the cost is higher than in Ireland.
The bidding war threatens the HSE's efforts to recruit nurses to fill the 1,000 full-time jobs announced in the Budget earlier this week.
Some non-HSE Irish hospitals will be among the 57 employers at the Health Sector Jobs fair today.
However, they face competition from overseas employers offering packages worth €10,000.
The different packages cover areas of expense, such as travel costs, shipping of furniture, estate agents' fees and funded education courses.
The Noble Hospital in the low income-tax Isle of Man said its salaries started at €27,910 and ranged up to €35,385, while its relocation package was worth €7,766 .
In contrast, the HSE's relocation package for Irish nurses returning here from the UK is just €1,500 and salaries start at €27,211.
Many of the HSE-run hospitals will not be at the fair in the RDS at they rely on recruitment agencies, which may be more costly.
Along with nurses, the overseas employers are also hoping to poach junior doctors, GPs and consultants
Stephen McLarnon, chief executive of Health Sector Jobs, the company behind the jobs fair, said: "When we ran this job fair in April 2016, we were stunned by the quality and quantity of healthcare professionals attending.
"Registrations for today's fair in the RDS are already ahead of where we were for April and we're expecting a big turnout on Saturday due to the levels of dissatisfaction there is in the market."
Mr McLarnon added: "Ultimately, there is still no strategy to retain staff and keep Irish healthcare talent here, with patients, nurses, midwives and doctors paying the price.
"We would love to see more HSE hospitals exhibiting this Saturday, but they don't seem to see the value of being there and promoting their job vacancies."
Public hospitals here are also facing stiff competition from our own private hospitals.
Beacon Hospital in Dublin has a term-time work policy for staff which allows employees take up to 13 weeks off per year to spend time with their families for occasions such as holidays.
The Mater private hospital also said it was actively recruiting nursing staff to join one of the country's leading private hospitals.
A bonus scheme was launched 12 months ago and has been extended until December 31.
The programme offers nurses who join the hospital a €6,000 bonus incentive, of which €3,000 is paid after one month of employment and a further €3,000 is paid after six months of employment.
The bonus was subject to a minimum two-year stay with the Mater private, said a spokeswoman.