Strategy needed to fill vacant consultant posts – Adams

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has expressed his serious concern at the number of vacancies for consultant posts in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. His concern follows the publication of figures released to his party colleague Louise O’Reilly about vacant consultant posts in hospitals across the state.

Teachta Adams said:

“Sinn Féin and hospital consultants and their representatives have been stating for some time that there is a recruitment and retention crisis within the health service. The figures released to Deputy O’Reilly confirm that this is a real issue that affects every hospital across the state.

According to the figures there are at least 349 vacant consultant posts in hospitals. In some areas the number involved is deeply worrying.

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital is among the better resourced but nonetheless there are currently 7 vacant consultant posts within the hospital. All of these impact on essential health services provided in OLOL. There is one consultant less than the number required covering each of the speciality services of dermatology; emergency medicine; geriatric medicine; intensive care; orthopaedic surgery; child and adolescent psychiatry, and psychiatry.

With 2,700 children in the state needing access to Child and Adolescent Psychiatry the lack of 13 such consultant posts in the state, one of which covers Louth and Meath, is a serious concern.

The HSE has tried to paper over the cracks by employing doctors not on the specialist register as consultants and employing locum/agency consultants, but its short term solutions are not working.

The government must urgently address the recruitment and retention crisis affecting consultants and the Minister for Health and the HSE need to engage with representatives of the consultants and draw up a properly resourced plan to fill these posts. The gap in consultants is placing patients and staff under stress and at risk.”

Action needed to fill posts in Our Lady of Lourdes – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin leader and TD for Louth/East Meath Gerry Adams has this morning called for the Minister for Health to take urgent action to ensure the 104 whole-time equivalent posts in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital are filled in light of the indefinite work-to-rule announced by nursing staff today.

Teachta Adams said:

“I want to pay tribute and extend my solidarity to the staff of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda who do an incredible job treating patients in the most difficult of circumstances.  The fact that the hospital is operating with 104 less staff than it should is nothing short of a scandal.

“Our Lady of Lourdes has consistently been amongst the three hospitals in the State with the highest emergency department trolley figures, and yesterday had the highest with 26 patients waiting on trolleys for a bed.

“The chaos in our hospital emergency departments will not be resolved by the Government’s ill-considered and underfunded two-tier approach, agreed with Fianna Fáil during Government negotiations.

“The introduction last week of a recruitment moratorium at hospital groups is only going to worsen the situation.

“What we need is real investment in public healthcare and the required staffing levels in hospitals to be met. The Minister for Health must take urgent action to resolve issues at Our Lady of Lourdes.”