Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has expressed alarm at the severe escalation in the HSE’s recruitment embargo, which, according to RTÉ, will now include all grades with minor exceptions.
Teachta Cullinane said that this severe escalation is a direct consequence of the Government’s disastrous decision to deliberately underfund the health service in 2024, and its refusal to commit the necessary funding that the health service needs to the end of this year.
The TD for Waterford called on the Government to bring forward a new budget for 2024 and properly fund the health service for the remainder of 2024.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“This is a severe escalation in the recruitment embargo, the likes of which we did not even see in the dark days of the Troika. This is exactly what we warned when the Government unveiled its budget for 2024.
“It is a direct consequence of the Government’s disastrous decision to deliberately underfund the health service in 2024, and its refusal to commit the necessary funding that the health service needs to the end of this year.
“The Government must urgently reverse its budgetary decision for 2024 and step up to the mark to properly fund the health service the remainder of this year.
“This could not happen at a worse time, as the health service faces into the winter ahead. This will have a severe impact on the safety of care and will press staff into unsafe conditions and into an extreme level of burnout. This will cause even more staff to want to leave the health service at the first opportunity.
“On top of this, the Government’s decisions mean that the HSE is now forced to withdraw job offers which have already been made. This is a cynical act of bad faith towards people who went through months-long recruitment processes and who will now be told that their job is not there. It gives them the green light to go work in the private sector or to emigrate instead, when we know that we need them in the public sector.
“This will cause huge reputation damage to the Irish health service. The message that this sends out to healthcare workers at home and abroad is hugely damaging.
“This decision and the underfunding of the health service must be urgently reversed.”