A trade union which represents nurses, care assistants and support staff at Galway University Hospitals says it is “gobsmacked” by the HSE’s decision to appoint three new management staff with a combined salary of €379,000 to the group.
The health authority advertised the positions of chief executive, chief operations officer and chief financial officer in a Sunday newspaper.
The move follows the shock resignation of colorectal surgeon Mr Myles Joyce last week and long running criticism of UHG’s poor performance rating in the HSE HealthStat league table. Mr Joyce joined the staff of the hospital 15 months ago but quit over its failure to give him adequate theatre time.
Paul Hardy, SIPTU’s local health services organiser, says the new CEO will earn €145,000 while the salaries of the chief operations officer and chief financial officer will range from €94,000 to €117,000 per year.
He says the hospitals already have a clinical director/general manager, Dr David O’Keeffe, who was appointed last July.
“Local health service managers routinely have requests to hire badly needed care assistants, ward clerks, nurses, security staff and porters refused by the HSE. The hospitals are understaffed by 50 healthcare assistants and 38 theatre nurses with no sign of a change in policy.
“Though we should no longer be surprised we are gobsmacked that the regional director should authorise the appointment of three senior and highly paid managers whose combined salary will amount to €379,000 per year while refusing to sanction the replacement of frontline staff to serve the public. Our members are being asked to do more with less while senior managers are being given more to do less.
“In a week that a leading bowel cancer surgeon has resigned from UHG because of insufficient theatre time it beggars belief that the health service puts resources into managers rather than into providing services for the people of the west of Ireland. People need to know that their €379,000 could instead pay for the salaries of 12.5 new staff nurses.”