Sinn Féin spokesperson for health and chair of the Health Committee Colm Gildernew MLA has called on the Department of Health to address agency spend.
Colm Gildernew said:
“The increasing amounts of money being spent on agency staff is a symptom of a workforce crisis.
“The Department of Health needs to bring forward a detailed workforce strategy that will begin to address these vacancies in the Health and Social Care system in the immediate and medium term.
“This needs to be considered in line with Minister Swann’s commitment to health unions to introduce a costed implementation plan for safe staffing levels within a short period.
“The failure of the HSC to provide the pay and conditions that workers deserve and to fill full-time posts promptly have pushed many health and social care workers into agency work thus exacerbating vacancies.
“The high rate of agency staff spend is not a new development and it is something that as Health Committee Chair I am keen to raise as an issue that needs urgent attention.”