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‘Optimism’ that remaining public health consultants will be appointed within year

By Paul Mulholland - 07th Mar 2023

A total of 20 of the 30 whole-time-equivalent (WTE) consultants in public health medicine posts due to be appointed by June of this year are in “active recruitment”, a spokesperson for the HSE told the Medical Independent (MI).

The HSE has already appointed 34 WTE consultants in public health medicine posts as part of the first phase of recruitment under the 2021 public health agreement between the IMO and health management.

The second phase, comprising 30 WTE posts, is due to be completed by June 2023, while the third and final phase, comprising 20 WTE posts, is due to be completed before the end of the year.

The 20 posts currently under recruitment include consultants with a special interest in health service improvement (quality patient safety).

A total of 10 WTE posts, as part of the second phase, are due to be advertised before the end of the month.

They will include consultants in public health medicine with a special interest in health intelligence.

As regards the final phase, the spokesperson told MI “work is continuing in the background on job spec creation and sign-off, so that once sanction is received, there will be no delays in progressing” the remaining 20 WTE posts.

Speaking to MI, Chair of the IMO public health committee, Dr Anne Dee, said the recruitment process is progressing, despite slowing down at the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023.

“It is moving on,” Dr Dee said.

“It slowed down for a while but seems to be picking up pace again. There are good levels of optimism that we will get the remaining 54 posts in place within the year or, at the latest, early next year.”

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