Staff 'embargo' must stay for now, says HSE
Recruitment controls will remain in place until there is evidence of delivery of balanced financial plans from hospital groups and community health organisations, the HSE has said.
The controls, which unions say amounts to an embargo, has led to a slowdown in recruitment since last spring.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation estimated there are 1,317 funded nursing and midwifery posts vacant and there are particular problems with unfilled jobs for midwives.
The promise to offer a job to all nursing graduates has yet to materialise, it added.
In response, an HSE spokeswoman said: "There is ongoing capacity for recruitment of newly funded posts and replacement of critical clinical posts within frontline services.
"In our community services, numbers of people working in nursing grades have grown by 131 wholetime posts to date in 2019.
"In our acute hospitals, staff numbers have grown significantly, by 967 to date in 2019, of which 519 are nursing staff grades. Since May 2018, overall staff numbers in acute hospitals have grown by 2,078.
"There are, however, controls in place to ensure that the HSE is demonstrating that it is living within the available resources provided to it by Government. This does mean that in some hospital groups and CHOs non-critical replacement posts will be paused.
"The preference is for these controls to remain in place for as short a period as necessary, with ongoing review until there is satisfactory evidence of traction and delivery of balanced financial plans from hospital groups and community health organisations."