There was a significant spike in online Google searches for “consultant roles in Ireland” from the UK during the summer.
Last month the Department of Health announced that 1,056 consultants have signed the new contract.
The figure comprises 241 new entrant consultants and 815 consultants who have switched from their previous contract.
In June, the HSE launched an international consultant recruitment campaign following the introduction of the new public-only consultant contract in March.
After the recruitment campaign went live, there was a 31 per cent increase globally in online searches for Irish consultant jobs and a 153 per cent increase in searches for consultant roles in Ireland from the UK.
Domestically there was a 42 per cent increase in online searches for consultant roles in Ireland.
The figures were provided by the HSE to the Sláintecare programme board at its meeting in September. According to the minutes of the meeting, the HSE said that the recruitment campaign was live in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, US and Canada.
A HSE spokesperson confirmed to the Medical Independent (MI) that the online statistics refer to Google searches and “the date range is from June and July”.
The September meeting also discussed work on the next strategic framework document for Sláintecare.
“The next Sláintecare Strategic Framework 2024-2027 continues to be developed and will be discussed again at the next meeting of the programme board on 28 November,” a Department of Health spokesperson told MI.
The minutes of the meeting record that board members “acknowledged the enormous work being done across the Sláintecare programme to date noting, for example, the activity reported and emerging impact of the enhanced community care programme and the public only consultant contract uptake to date”.
As reported in MI the HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry said there had been a “very enthusiastic” reaction to the contract.
Speaking to this newspaper at the HSE National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP) medical workforce conference on 9 November, Dr Henry said the “reception we hear from newly appointed consultants is that they’re…enthusiastic not just about the terms and conditions, but the degree of flexibility it gives them”.