The new consultants in public health medicine posts “have garnered much interest over the past 12 months”, the HSE has told this newspaper The 34 posts for recruitment in 2022 have been filled and a majority of the posts saw a panel of candidates formed.
In May 2021, IMO public health specialists voted to approve an agreement with the Department of Health that included a commitment to establish 84 consultant posts. The recruitment process was to take place in three phases between June 2021 and December 2023. Thirty-four posts were to be filled by the end of this year.
“Of the 34 consultant posts, all 34 candidates have been on-boarded,” a HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent.
The spokesperson said that the campaign had led to the successful completion of phase one against “ambitious recruitment timelines”.
“For the majority of the posts, a panel of successful candidates was formed, which shows the appetite for these posts and the desire to have a successful consultant-led and delivered public health model.”
The National Director of Public Health has been progressed on an interim basis (Dr John Cuddihy is in this position) pending permanent appointment of a candidate through a second round campaign being progressed by the Public Appointments Service.
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). Sanction from Department of Public Expenditure and Reform/Department of Health is currently in place to progress phase two.
“Phase three is subject to successful completion of a review process in February 2023. Post approval and campaign preparation is currently underway for phase two posts,” said the HSE spokesperson.
“Campaigns are currently ongoing for two whole-time equivalent (WTE) posts, campaigns for a further five WTE are expected to launch before year end. Campaigns for all remaining phase two posts are expected to be completed in Q1 [quarter one] 2023 in line with targets set in the agreement.”