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Government is not making use of ‘Be On Call For Ireland’ scheme, says David Cullinane

Sinn Féin health spokesman David Cullinane said that the 1,400 health staffs who are in the list of Be On Call For Ireland campaign must be given opportunities to overcome the staff shortage and other parallel challenges.

He said that these number of health staffs must be hired soon to face the challenges of the winter and allow the Government deliver on its budget promises.

He said this after the government announced health budget, in which they said to employ 16,000 added staffs by the end of next year.

David Cullinane says that he has concerns and doubts over this announcement.

 Mr Cullinane, a Waterford TD said that the budget says that there will be an expansion in the workforce to meet the demands of the sector, but at the same time they are not considering the qualified workers who have enrolled themselves in Be On Call For Ireland scheme.  

The scheme, which started in March, has also prompted the return of health professionals abroad who are not in the system right now.

Mr Cullinane said that, so far less than 300 doctors and nurses have been deployed under the scheme and another 1,400 are now in the recruitment pool.

“What doesn’t make sense to me is that the minister said in a press conference the other day that the HSE will move heaven and earth to recruit as many staff as he can,” Mr Cullinane said.

“They can be offered jobs today and could come into the public service, and work in hospitals today to open up beds, which need to be open. It doesn’t make sense,” he added.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said that the Health department’s €22bn budget would provide permanent funding for the capacity and staff taken in 2020 and as a part of the HSE winter plan, saying that 16,000 staff would be recruited on 2020 levels by next year.

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