July 26, 2022
ESRI report on healthcare staff shows need to get serious about investing in third-level education – Rose Conway-Walsh TD

Public acute hospitals in the state are estimated in a ESRI report published today to need up to 15,500 more staff within 13 years.

This will represent a substantial challenge as staff shortages exist at present driven in part by a lack of training places across the further and higher education sector.

Teachta Conway-Walsh said:

“The ESRI report clearly demonstrates the scale of the workforce planning needed in all areas of healthcare.

“Our hospital system is already struggling under acute staff shortages. At the same time the severe lack of GPs, dentists, and pharmacists poses a major threat to community healthcare.

“In order to meet this challenge, we need to ramp-up training across the healthcare system.

“We have a high rate of young people going to third-level but that doesn’t mean that we have the right balance of places to meet the needs of our society.

“The ESRI report comes on the back of an economic evaluation into higher education that highlighted how a decade of austerity in higher education has created a situation where colleges have been pushed to increase the number of cheaper to deliver courses at the expense of more expensive cost intensive subjects.

“The evaluation highlighted how this has particularly been the case in health and social care subjects.

“The government needs to join the dots on the staff shortages in healthcare and the lack of third-level places.

“By the government’s own admission, there is a €307 million funding gap. That needs to be filled and that funding should go hand in hand with the ramping up of healthcare places in the system.”

ESRI report: https://www.esri.ie/system/files/publications/RS147.pdf

Economic evaluation: https://www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/49e56-future-funding-in-higher-education/

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