The Government has decided that the numbers employed across the public service must be reduced, in order to meet fiscal and budgetary targets. As a major employer, the health sector must make a significant contribution to this reduction. This policy requires that, by the end of 2013, the health service achieves a workforce of 98,955 wholetime equivalents (WTEs).
The HSE may continue to recruit staff in exceptional circumstances, where it has been established that there is an urgent service requirement and that this can be accommodated within the budgetary constraints and overall employment ceiling. In addition development posts in a range of disciplines are being filled in accordance with priorities determined by Government. The number of consultant posts has increased significantly in recent years and NCHD numbers, for the most part, have been maintained.
I have asked the Executive to compile the information in relation the number of Consultant, NCHD and Nursing posts that are currently deemed vacant and reply directly to the Deputy.