Fianna Fáil TD for Laois Sean Fleming says he is alarmed by the revelation that the Government has disproportionately focused on the hiring of senior management and administrators over frontline staff since 2014.
Deputy Fleming, who is also chairman of the and Chairman of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee, made the comments after receiving new information from the HSE.
It shows that the number of Grade 8 + senior managers in the health service increased by 26% since 2014, from 1,186 to 1,497. In comparison the number of staff nurses increased by just 1.6% from 24,423 to 24,816. The number of public health nurses also increased by just 1.6% from 1,460 to 1,484.
“We are all well aware of the enormous challenges facing our health service. In recent months we have seen record levels of over-crowding in hospitals, a massive rise in waiting lists, cuts to key services and difficulties in accessing home care supports. It is extraordinary that the response to this crisis is to hire more top level managers.
“Numerous organisations have pointed out that staff shortages are contributing significantly to the current crisis in our health service. However instead of hiring additional frontline staff to alleviate the problem the Government has instead focused on disproportionately hiring additional senior managers," said the Laois TD.
He called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris needs to explain why, "at a time of crisis", the Department has a "unhealthy obsession on hiring managers instead of frontline staff", concluded Deputy Fleming.