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Three positions have not reached the interview or shortlist stage.
A total of 57 posts have been filled this year, however, this number includes some posts advertised in 2015, a HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI).
“Typically, it takes approximately nine months to fill a post and in some cases successful candidates hold posts for a year or more while they complete training or other posts abroad,” said the spokesperson.
“Factors influencing whether posts are filled or not include location, specialty, and access to private practice.”
The HSE said that approximately one-third of the consultant positions it advertised last year received either just one or no applications.
The HSE advertised 148 posts in 2015. “In 2015, 20 posts received no applications. In 2015, 28 posts received only one application.”
At the launch of its pre-Budget submission in July, the IHCA condemned what it called “the State’s blatant and repeated breaches of contract terms” that it claims has led to a consultant recruitment and retention crisis in the health service.
“Ireland is suffering a damaging medical brain drain because the terms and conditions on offer here are not competitive with other English speaking countries, which include North America, Australia, and the UK,” the Association stated in its pre-Budget submission.
“There are now hundreds of approved consultant posts, which cannot be filled on a permanent basis.”