Hospitals left short of 143 doctors, figures show
The full extent of the shortage of senior specialists in hospitals across the country is revealed with newly released figures showing 143 jobs were not even filled by contract doctors or agency staff.
The worst hit is University Hospital Galway, which is without 17 consultants, followed by Cork University Hospital. It comes as the first 30 consultant posts, offering revised salaries of up to €175,000, were advertised yesterday.
The highest shortage was in consultants in medicine, followed by surgeons and anaesthetists, the figures supplied to Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghin O Caolain showed.
There were over 300 vacancies for consultants overall but most of these could be covered by doctors hired on contract or agency staff.
It follows the news that surgeon Kevin Moran (right)of Letterkenny Hospital is to leave his post next month.
"I have taken the decision to resign as I don't have the resources to take care of my patients any more," Mr Moran said after 24 years in the post.
"I don't have access to beds, I don't have adequate access to operating theatres and I can't recruit and retain the junior staff and support staff I need.
"To replace me takes a general surgeon and a urologist. I believe they will have a major difficulty recruiting a urologist."