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If implemented, the move will mean that all seven Hospital Group boards, some of which have operated without any board members to date, will finally be able to function and operate as intended.
According to a spokesperson for the Department, a campaign to fill chairperson vacancies in the University of Limerick (UL) Hospitals Group and Dublin Midlands Hospital Group and to recruit board members for the other five Groups has concluded and an assessment process is ongoing.
“In respect of the Children’s Hospital Group board, this process has now concluded in full,” said the spokesperson.
The South/South West Hospital Group board received some 56 applications for 11 vacancies on its board, according to data released on www.stateboards.ie.
In comparison, just one application for the position of Chair of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group board was received.
For the Saolta Hospital Group, 40 applications were received for 11 vacant board positions.
Some three applications were received for the position of Chair of the UL Hospitals Group board.
A total of 11 positions are vacant on the board of the RCSI Hospitals Group and 43 applications have been received for these positions.
The Ireland East Hospital Group board is also seeking to fill 11 positions and 56 applications were received for the roles.
Chairpersons of Hospital Group boards will be paid €5,000 per annum, while board members will receive €3,500 per annum.
Progress in making appointments to Hospital Group boards has been extremely slow to date.
Earlier this year the former Chairman of UL Hospitals Group board, Prof Niall O’Higgins, called for more authority for Hospital Groups and criticised the lack of development in establishing Group boards. His term as Chair expired in May and the position is now expected to be filled before the end of the year.