Stop hiring temporary agency staff, and just make your workers permanent?

30 July 2019
By Elaine Murphy

Cork University Hospital

Speaking this morning Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has said that agency staff spending is out of control again for 2019 as Cork University Hospital spend €2.8 million in first five months of the year due to failure to address the recruitment and retention crisis.

Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:

“Figures released to my colleague and Sinn Féin health spokesperson, Deputy Louise O’Reilly, have shown how rampant spending on temporary agency staff instead of directly employed staff is financially crippling the health service.

“The data from the HSE revealed that the health service has spent over €135 million on agency staff in the first five months of the year. That is a spending of €900,000 a day on agency staff in hospitals and community healthcare organisations.

“The reliance on agency staff in Cork University Hospital is enormous and very worrying – in five months €2.8 million was spent.

“Since Fine Gael came to government in 2011 the health service has spent over €2.1 billion on temporary agency staff.

“Sinn Féin continuously raised this matter with the Minister for Health and told him that huge sums of money can be saved if he addresses the recruitment and retention crisis and recruits and retains directly employed HSE staff which are significantly less expensive than agency staff.

“This practice is not good value for money in the first instance, and it is not good for patients or other full-time staff. There can be no doubt that the recruitment embargo on full time staff is clearly causing an increase in agency spending.

“The over-reliance on the use of costly agency staff is a direct result of the escalation of the recruitment and retention crisis under this government; unless the recruitment and retention crisis is addressed, then this rampant agency spending will continue to cripple the health service.”

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