According to Freedom of Information (FOI) figures, HSE’s spending on agency staff increased by €15.5 million this year compared to the previous year.
The bill for the first seven months of 2019 was just under €200 million. But over the course of this year, it rose to €215 million with large increases on agency nurses and paramedics.
Tony Fitzpatrick from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization (INMO) says the cause of the increase is not Covid-19.
Fitzpatrick pointed out that HSE is the only reason for the increase in spending. He says that the HSE is going in the wrong direction.
There is research that clearly states that they need to stabilize their workforce. But they fail to recruit additional staff.
News that hospitals were facing staff shortages was widely reported in the Irish media.
“Instead of using directly hired staff, they are using in excess of 3,000 whole time equivalent staff per week in order to support and maintain their rosters,” Fitzpatrick added.