€94 million Agency spend shows HSE can’t control spending

23 September 2019

Figures obtained by the Labour Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, show that the HSE have spent close to €94 million on agency staff from January to July 2019.

Deputy Kelly said:

“The fact that the HSE are still spending ludicrous amounts on agency staff prove that the HSE have still not learned how to control their spending.”

“Anyone with a basic knowledge of healthcare and finance knows the levels of spending on agency staff know it makes no sense.”

“The figures highlight that University Hospital Limerick have spent the most on agency staff – over €9 million. We know that UHL more often than not tops the list of the most overcrowded hospital every day.  The staff there are so stressed and the staff in related hospitals in Nenagh, Ennis and St. John’s likewise. There is a serious lack of staff.

“I speak to staff in hospitals all the time who are also clearly very upset at the de facto recruitment ban that is in place for front-line staff, as well as other staff. We always hear from the HSE and the Minister that this is not a recruitment ban but it is, in effect, a recruitment ban. We all know of people who cannot get jobs in the HSE and others who, despite actually being recruited, cannot commence because of this de facto recruitment ban. 

“Whether or not they want to admit it, the HSE are still embarking on their recruitment embargo. Staff still aren’t being hired in key posts which are remaining empty or being filled by an agency staffer. The figures show that the HSE would rather spend money on agency staff than employ people on full-time contracts. This is not good enough.”


See the reply to PQ 35111 19: To ask the Minister for Health the spend on agency staff in each HSE hospital for January to July 2019, by month and hospital in tabular form at the following link https://www.labour.ie/download/pdf/pq_35111_19_response.pdf

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