I propose to take Questions Nos. 95 and 112 together.
The Government has decided that the numbers employed across the public service must be reduced in order to meet its fiscal and budgetary targets. In order to mitigate the impact on frontline services of the reduction in employment numbers, the priority is to reform how health services are delivered in order to ensure a more productive and cost effective health system. The additional working hours provided for in the Haddington Road Agreement are a pivotal element in this regard.
Subject to approval by senior managers, arrangements are in place in the HSE to allow the recruitment of staff where it has been established that there is an urgent service requirement. In addition, the HSE continues to fill a significant number of development posts in line with service priorities identified by Government.