Health chief Robert Watt refutes report HSE is using ‘fake’ recruitment targets

Official says goals are ‘ambitious’ but admits plan to hire 10,000 more staff unlikely to be met

Paul Reid, left, chief executive of the HSE and Robert Watt, secretary-general. Photo: Colin Keegan.

Hugh O'Connell

Department of Health secretary-general Robert Watt has said it is “absolutely not the case” there is anything “underhand” about health service recruitment targets described as “fake” by one of his own officials in a leaked recording.