The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) raised concerns about the “comparatively high” recruitment to management and administration grades within the HSE, the Medical Independent (MI) can report.
At a meeting of the health budget oversight group last June, DPER officials queried whether continued recruitment to these grades was advisable “while recruitment to medical/frontline grades is, in many cases, well below target”.
In relation to DPER’s concerns, a HSE spokesperson told MI that the growth in management and administration staff should be seen “in the context of one of the highest reported turnover levels at over 10 per cent for 2022”.
“This WTE [whole-time equivalent] growth is the net effect of newly appointed employees on the one hand (including replacements) and leavers (including retirements, resignations, and moves within our service) on the other.
“There are many factors which create challenges to the overall growth of our workforce inclusive of the significant gap between supply and demand, competition from abroad and the availability of affordable accommodation. It should be noted the demand and supply deficits for healthcare workers is a global issue not unique to the HSE.”
The spokesperson said the HSE recently established a national programme “which aims at adopting a strategic health service response” to recruitment.
The Executive fell “marginally shy” of its overall minimum recruitment targets for 2022, they added.
According to figures provided to this newspaper, at the end of December 2022 there were 156,285 personnel, or 137,745 WTEs, directly employed in the provision of health and social care services by the HSE and the section 38 hospitals and agencies.
This figure represented a full-year increase of 5,422 WTEs in employment levels, the HSE spokesperson told MI.
“Thus the final outcome is marginally shy of the net 5,500 WTE 2022 growth target equating to a 98.6 per cent performance.”
In a further breakdown, the Executive stated that 12,697 medical and dental WTEs were employed at the end of last year. This amounted to an increase of 584 in 2022. For health and social care professionals, there were 19,721 WTEs, which was an increase of 723 over the year. In management and administration, there were 23,156 WTEs, amounting to an increase of 1,574.
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