Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (680)

Joan Burton


680. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health if his Department was consulted on the publicly indicated recruitment and overtime ban to be brought in by the Health Service Executive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18020/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

There is no recruitment and overtime ban in place in the HSE. However, in recent months, officials from my Department have been engaging intensively with the HSE in reaching agreement on a Pay and Numbers Strategy for 2019. The key focus in developing the strategy is to ensure that affordable and appropriate recruitment decisions are made by the HSE and that they need to operate within its pay allocations.

By the end of 2018, the levels of agency, overtime and pay costs had reached unaffordable levels. In light of this, the HSE decided to introduce interim control measures for a consolidation period of three months to the end of June, until they received clarity on plans and financial performance for Q1 2019 from Hospital Groups and CHO’s.

I have been very clear that those locations which provide credible, balanced plans will be supported. Similarly, locations which do not submit such plans need to be scrutinised. It should also be noted that the HSE is continuing to recruit all funded development posts.