An allocation of €20 million was set aside in the HSE's 2012 National Service Plan for approximately 250 Primary Care posts (including Public Health Nurses (PHNs), Registered General Nurses (RGNs), Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Speech and Language Therapists) and 17 Integrated Care Diabetes Nurse Specialist posts. The Diabetes Nurse Specialist posts will support the phased roll out of the national chronic disease management programme for diabetes which is expected to commence shortly. The HSE recently held interviews for the Diabetes Nurse Specialist posts and it is expected that these posts will be filled early in 2013.
Due to financial constraints, it was not possible to fill the primary care posts in 2012. It is my firm intention to have these posts filled as soon as possible in 2013. The time-related savings associated with the non recruitment of the posts in 2012 was used by the HSE to defray expenditure in other primary and community care areas.