Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health

Workforce Planning in the Health Sector (Resumed): Discussion with Fórsa

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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I was delighted Mr. Donnelly mentioned recruitment. I talk to various employers within the healthcare system around the country, be it a hospice or whatever the service provider is. I had a conversation with an employer in one provider that was considering moving from being a section 39 to a section 38 organisation and they were excited about that because of the cuts that had been applied to staff that had not been reversed for section 39 organisations. They thought they might get some breathing space if they were to become a section 38 organisation but they were warned about that by others organisations and told they should be careful because if they were to do that they would fall under the dreaded control of the national recruitment service which they were told was a nightmare as it can take a year and a half to hire anybody. First, it is a problem for the organisation in that it cannot get the people it needs when it needs them and, second, most people who have options, who are the type of people an organisation would want to hire, do not hang around for a year and a half. They will move on and in many cases they will move to Sydney, Boston or wherever it may be. I was delighted to hear Mr. Donnelly raise the issue of recruitment and he referenced the licence and alluded to capacity. What the hell is the going on with the recruitment service that it is taking 18 months to recruit people? Is it that it has a quarter of the staff its need? It is buried in red tape that is not suitable and should not be there? What is going on?