The minister for health Simon Harris is urging graduates of medicine, nursing and midwifery to consider a health service career within Ireland, rather than abroad.
According to the Irish Times, Harris said: “I appeal to people, in particular our young graduates from nursing and medical school, to work with us and to give the Irish health service a chance as we enter a period of reinvestment.”
Figures released from the Health Service Executive (HSE) have shown a turnover rate within the health service of 5.7%. This percentage is the rate at which staff positions are vacated and refilled.
Harris noted that there is an estimated 200 positions vacant at any one time, with many of these positions being outsourced by agencies to sustain numbers.
Following an increase of 700 health consultants over the past 12 months, the HSE have drafted a funded workforce plan in agreement with the nursing union to increase the number of nursing and midwifery positions by 1224 this year.
Sinn Féin health spokeswoman Louise O’Reilly has also expressed concern over the increasing numbers of health consultants leaving the country to work.
O’Reilly insists that the problem is not one of just salary, and that working conditions of health workers need to improve.