The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, must guarantee that the rollout of the HPV vaccine for boys in their first-year at secondary school will proceed in September, and that the HSE recruitment embargo he has put in place will not delay it.
This is the view of Labour Galway City West councillor Niall McNelis, who said the Minister can no longer stand over the embargo, especially as the vaccination is essential “to secure immunity and protect future generations”.
“Public health programmes cannot be delivered unless the appropriate professionals are in place,” he said. “The HSE had committed to hiring 160 public health nurses in 2019 but this is now being reduced to less than 100. The dispute now at the Workplace Relations Commission is a clear example of how the blunt tool of a blanket recruitment embargo is having a drastic impact on public health services.”