Mayo Sinn Féin Senator, Rose Conway-Walsh, has said that agency staff spending at Mayo University Hospital is out of control again for 2019 with €1.877 million spent in the first five months of the year.
Senator Conway-Walsh said: "Figures released to my colleague and Sinn Féin health spokesperson, Deputy Louise O’Reilly, have shown how rampant spending on temporary agency staff instead of directly employed staff is financially crippling the health service.
"The data from the HSE revealed that the health service has spent over €135 million on agency staff in the first five months of the year. That is a spending of €900,000 a day on agency staff in hospitals and community healthcare organisations.
"While I acknowledge the very valuable work done by agency staff, the reliance on agency staff in Mayo General Hospital is enormous and very worrying – in five months €1.877 million was spent.
"Since Fine Gael came to government in 2011 the health service has spent over €2.1 billion on temporary agency staff. Minister Harris promised that all graduating nurses would be employed by the HSE, so why are all the nurses trained in Mayo General Hospital not being employed? Sinn Féin continuously raised this matter with the Minister for Health and told him that huge sums of money can be saved if he addresses the recruitment and retention crisis and recruits and retains directly employed HSE staff which are significantly less expensive than agency staff.
"The over-reliance on the use of costly agency staff is a direct result of the escalation of the recruitment and retention crisis under this government; unless the recruitment and retention crisis is addressed, then this rampant agency spending will continue to cripple the health service."