The third phase of the recruitment drive for public health consultants has been sanctioned, the Medical Independent (MI) been told.
In May 2021 public health specialists in the IMO voted to approve the terms of an agreement reached with the Department of Health. The agreement included a commitment to establish 84 consultant posts.
The recruitment process was to take place in three phases between June 2021 and December 2023. A total of 34 posts were filled by the end of last year. In line with the agreement, a further 30 posts are expected to be recruited by June 2023 (phase two) and an additional 20 by December 2023 (phase three).
A HSE spokesperson also told MI that the recruitment for phase two is “well underway”. A total of nine candidates are at the onboarding stage; 12 whole-time-equivalent (WTE) candidates are at interview stage; and six WTE posts are currently being advertised. The final three posts are in line to be reviewed at the next consultant applications advisory committee meeting on 13 June.
The spokesperson added that, as of 8 March, the Sláintecare public-only consultant contract is the only contract to be offered to new consultants in public health medicine.
The spokesperson further noted that following a Department of Public Expenditure and Reform review, the Executive has received sanction to continue with phase three recruitment of a further 20 WTE consultant posts “and work is currently underway on the job specifications”.
The interest in the posts “has remained strong and at the same level in 2023 as compared to 2022”, the spokesperson added.