September 19, 2022
Tánaiste unwilling to face facts of HSE recruitment failures – Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has questioned Tánaiste Leo Varadkar’s response to not a single position being offered to newly-trained clinical psychologists.

Teachta Ward was responding to the Tánaiste’s contribution during Questions on Promised Legislation where Deputy Sorca Clarke raised the issue.

Teachta Ward said:

“The Tánaiste was presented with the facts from a response that I received to a parliamentary question about no newly-qualified clinical psychologists being offered a position in the HSE despite a €38 million investment.

“My colleague, Deputy Sorca Clarke, raised this with the Tánaiste and, instead of responding to the question, he chose to accuse Deputy Clarke of not being factually correct.

“It is very worrying that the Tánaiste is unwilling to face the facts. It is also concerning that the Tánaiste is unaware of this issue despite the fact that I raised it over a month ago.

“This government has consistently shown that they are slow to react. The reality is that there are over 11,000 people waiting on an appointment for primary care psychology and the HSE, under the government’s watch, is failing to recruit newly-qualified psychologists.

“The fact that the HSE has invested €38 million but failed to recruit a single newly-qualified clinical psychologist is an absolute scandal.

“There is a recruitment and retention crisis of healthcare workers right across the HSE.

“Sinn Féin has made a number of priorities in our alternative health budget, which launched on Friday, including funding a National Psychology Placement Office, and expanding funding to trainee educational and counselling psychologists. This would address the concerns we raised with the Tánaiste.

“I have sent a copy of the parliamentary question to the Tánaiste so he can fact-check the response himself.”

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