Donnelly must outline patient and worker safety plans with latest recruitment freeze

13 October 2023

Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith has expressed his concern for patient outcomes as the HSE announce a recruitment freeze.

Deputy Smith said:

“News of the recruitment freeze will be a huge blow to all who work in the HSE. This latest measure will have a massive long term impact on Ireland’s capacity to deliver care today and into the future.

“To see a freeze hit non consultant hospital doctors is outrageous. These are the people we’re begging not to leave us for Australia. Today, the Minister and his Department have shot us all in the foot.

“Healthcare assistants and home helps the linchpin on which many of our health services hang. With the workers in the voluntary and community sectors planning strike action for next week, this latest news will spread panic across homes nationwide.

“The whole fiasco truly beggars belief. On Tuesday, Government was busy patting itself on the back over the Budget. Today, they announce outrageous cuts that will impact workers, patients and everyone across the country.

“The financial problems or budget overruns within the HSE or the Department of Health are not the fault of the staff who treat patients, nor is it the fault of patients who fall sick and present themselves to hospitals looking for medical help and assistance.

“Minister Donnelly should have been strong enough to stand up against the pathetic politics of minor tax cuts here and and there in this week’s Budget. Instead, he should have pushed his cabinet colleagues for permanent positive change in our public services like health care.

“Short term sporadic decisions by the HSE such as this freeze on recruitment is in my view a sign of crisis management and these ill thought out decisions are leading to further chaos in the proper delivery of health services in this Country.

“The morale of staff trying to work and cope within this environment is hard to comprehend.It is quite apparent to me that our Health service is getting worse contrary to what we are being continually told by the Minister for Health and this Government.”

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