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HSE recruits just one nurse in five months

THE HSE has filled just one full-time post in Dublin since July's 'recruitment pause', the Herald can reveal.

Despite Health Minister James Reilly's pledge that positions would be filled to protect "key priority services", just one full-time position has been filled in the past five months.

In July, the HSE decided to introduce a recruitment embargo known as a 'pause' in order to overcome the "serious budgetary overrun".

The pause -- which is on top of the public service moratorium -- is set to run until at least January of next year.

The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) today warned that patient care would continue to be impacted upon as long as the pause remains in place.

The HSE confirmed that only a senior nurse position has been filled since July, however the 'pause' did not apply to junior doctors, student nursing posts and technician trainees.

Medical sources today described conditions in hospitals as "unbearable".

The introduction of the recruitment moratorium has forced thousands of graduate nurses to leave our shores.


And it is estimated that hundreds more nursing and midwifery jobs have been lost.

Frontline sources say there are still a number of vital positions that remain unfilled in areas such as Accident and Emergency, General Surgery and Paediatrics.

"There's gaps in hospitals everywhere for jobs and the terrible aspect of it is, there are people there to do the work but clearly we can't recruit them according to these figures," a hospital source said.

And Dr Mark Murphy of the IMO told the Herald today that the moratorium and July's HSE pause has made things "extremely difficult" for staff.

"Our nursing staff colleagues are suffering desperately because of the reduced manpower."

He added: "Frontline staff need to be prioritised and with an embargo this serious in place, things are being extremely difficult for everyone."

Independent TD for Dublin North Central Finian McGrath said: "Doctors and nurses are telling us how bad the situation is. And yet we have one staff member given a fully fledged post, it's appalling."

The HSE was unable to provide a comment this morning.