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Wednesday 24 January 2018

Department of Health staff to escape jobs cull

Eilish O'Regan

STAFF numbers in the Department of Health will remain untouched in the Government's massive cull of 5,000 Health Service Executive (HSE) staff.

The department lost most of its core functions when the HSE was set up five years ago, but still has 477 staff on its books, down just 177 since 2003.

Under government rules, it must reduce its headcount to 450 by 2012.

The HSE took over the running of the health service in 2005. It has a staff of 108,801, compared with 101,976 in its first year of operation. The redundancy and early retirement -- aimed at getting 5,000 mainly clerical and administrative staff to leave -- is only confined to the HSE.

The Department of Health last night said the reduction in its numbers was achieved through a variety of developments, including the previous incentivised early retirement scheme.

A spokesman said the department intends to use "all appropriate mechanisms" to cut staff numbers further. These include the re-organisation and re-allocation of work -- including redeployment where necessary -- to meet the 2012 target.

Irish Independent

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