Closure of acute hospital beds unforgivable – says Cork TD Billy Kelleher

24 April 2017
By Elaine Murphy

Staff shortage crisis needs to be rectified by the HSE

Billy Kelleher TD

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health, Billy Kelleher has said that Minister Harris needs to come up a detailed, realistic plan to recruit the staff the Irish health service needs to function at full capacity.

Deputy Kelleher was commenting after it emerged that nearly 1 in 10 acute hospital beds weren’t in operation in 2016 as a result of staff shortages.

“This simply isn’t good enough, and to my mind, is unforgivable. Fine Gael has been in office and in charge of health care policy in particular, since 2011. The challenges of health care recruitment have been known to all stakeholders for a great many years.

“Too many of our nursing and medical graduates are unwilling to work in the Irish system, and would prefer to work overseas. This needs to be a wakeup call to the Minister and his officials that maintaining the status quo won’t cut it any more.

“We need to make working in the Irish system more attractive. This isn’t just about salaries. We need to make sure that staff feel valued, that their opinions are listened to and that their training and professional development needs are provided for

“It’s simply not good enough that beds that are in urgent demand are not being used because we don’t have the nurses and doctors needed to staff them.

“It’s no wonder we have chronic levels of people lying on trolleys waiting to get into a hospital bed.

“Minister Harris needs to quickly find ways of keeping doctors and nurses trained in Ireland in the Irish health system. Too much taxpayer money has been invested in their education to lose them to other countries,” concluded Kelleher.

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