Starting next three months HSE (Health Service Executive) is initiating a recruitment freeze in the health service in an effort to manage costs. In a letter to senior HSE directors, the Deputy Director General of the HSE, Liam Woods said the decision is based upon the financial pressure in the system arising from the high levels of recruitment in 2018, and the consequential impact in 2019 and the need to live within resources. The freeze on the recruitment of new posts will apply “until satisfactory financial plans (from the various hospital groups and CHOs) have been received, endorsed centrally and are demonstrating good evidence of traction”. It is not quite believable that in critical service areas where specialist staff may retire or leave, they now can’t be replaced, nor according to this letter can people on career break decide to come back over the next three months. Essentially they will have to wait until the budget situation improves, and overtime has been capped.
The Labor party's health spokesman Alan Kelly obtained the letter and published it. He said that, he thinks it's 'extraordinary' and 'unacceptable' that the HSE is proposing a three month recruitment and overtime ban, especially at a time, when he says, there is a 'crisis' in the health service, particularly in acute areas and in community groups. Mr. Kelly said in many cases it is not comparing like with like, and some hospitals are being faced with financial backlogs that they are going to be penalized by more because financial controls were not implemented by the HSE in the first place.
Meanwhile, Minister of State Sean Canney, an independent TD in government, told RTÉ’s The Week in Politics said “now is the time” that is appropriate for the HSE to step in to control recruitment and spending. “Each hospital group has to produce their recruitment strategy. Some have, some haven’t,” he said. This changing scenario in Ireland HSE recruitment casts a shadow over healthcare professional aspiring to work in Ireland. Although countries like Australia, Canada, Italy are housing some of the highly paid healthcare facilities but it still is a never ending process to reach these countries. Meanwhile countries like UK seem to loosen up their healthcare recruitment policies which are visible from the recent relaxations in IELTS scores and changes in NMC overseas registration fees and from last year overseas nurses will be able to work in the UK immediately after qualifying. which is not the scenario in other competent countries. Eventually, UK is becoming the most desired job destination for healthcare professionals especially the nurses all over the world.