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Hospitals in Ireland may need up to 15,500 staff by 2035- ESRI report

DUBLIN: Ireland’s public acute hospitals may need up to 15,500 more staff by 2035, according to the Economic and Social Research Institute.

The ESRI Report on Workforce Requirements mentions that workforce needs for all staff categories are expected to increase significantly over the next 13 years.

There will need to be particularly large increases for health and social care specialists, particularly occupational therapists and speech and language therapists, especially for older patients in hospitals, the report says. Additional staff will also be needed to help cut waiting lists.

The report says the projected increase in staffing could be partially offset by increasing the proportion of care delivered by assistant grades.

According to the report, between 12,418 and 15,491 employees are needed. It is suggested that up to 3,236 additional medical staff, 8,868 nursing and midwifery staff and 3,277 additional healthcare assistants will be required.

There will also be a need for up to 166 more dieticians, 214 occupational therapists, 494 physiotherapists, 118 speech and language therapists and 148 social workers.

The ESRI report highlighted that workforce planning is key to implementing the Sláintecare reforms to modernize the health department.

But Ireland currently makes very little progress in terms of staff recruitment and retention at national and international levels. The ESRI also warns the government that there should be more effective measures in this regard by adopting alternative methods.

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