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Department of Health staff levels up to 411

That is according to figures supplied by Minister for Health Simon Harris to the Dáil recently.

The Minister said that the total number of staff currently serving in his Department is 411 (386.4 whole-time equivalents (WTEs)).

Of those, a total of 21 (19.9 WTEs) are seconded into the Department.

This number is significantly down compared to the late 2008 pre-recession figure of 514 civil service staff in the Department. However, it is an increase from staff figures in the final quarters of 2013 and 2014, which were 345 and 338, respectively.

Most of the Department’s current staff are based in Hawkins House in Dublin and will be facing a move in the new year.

The OPW has previously told the Medical Independent (MI) that the Department of Health headquarters on Baggot Street is expected “to be ready for occupation by Quarter 2, 2017”.

However, it is believed that for a period of time, Department staff will be working in both buildings.

In July, MI reported that cost of maintenance of Hawkins House more than doubled last year compared to 2014. A total of €386,000 was spent on maintenance in 2015, compared to €142,000 in 2014 and €135,000 in 2013.

A significant amount of the increase was because of protective work that had to be done to the external fabric of the building last year.

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