Question to the Minister for Health (Dr James Reilly, TD)
To ask the Minister for Health if he will provide an update on the progress being made in meeting the Health Service Executive staffing targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer T.D.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 8th October, 2013.
The Government has decided that the numbers employed across the public service must be reduced in order to meet its fiscal and budgetary targets. The health sector must make its contribution to that reduction. This policy requires the health service to reduce its workforce to 98,938 wholetime equivalent employees (WTEs) by the end of 2013.
The total number employed in the public health sector at the end of August 2013 was 100,578 WTEs, a decrease of 928 WTEs from the 2012 outturn of 101,506 WTEs.
The Incentivised Career Break Scheme which was rolled out in the HSE earlier this year was a targeted measure to contribute towards the reduction in employment numbers required. To date, around 360 staff have been given approval to avail of the scheme. The HSE has been asked to review the scheme to establish whether there is potential for more staff to be released, in light of the additional capacity available under the additional working hours provisions of the Haddington Road Agreement.
A targeted Voluntary Redundancy Scheme in the HSE and in organisations funded by the HSE has also been approved. It will be implemented on a rolling basis as areas and functions to be targeted are identified, e.g. as hospital groups are brought into being. There will be no automatic right to redundancy.