The HSE should immediately fill the 75 nursing vacancies in the hospitals in Portlaoise, Mullingar and Tullamore.
Deputy Fleming said the HSE is losing money hand over fist by paying for all this work to be carried out on an agency basis. Deputy Fleming has been informed that the HSE has paid out €1,048,397 in the first three months of this year to pay for 33,235 agency nursing hours in these 3 hospitals. This is the equivalent of 75 full time nurses.
It is clear based on these figures that the HSE may pay out well over €4 million on agency nursing hours during 2012 in these hospitals where it would be much better to employ nurses full time which would be much less expensive than paying out all this money on an agency basis.
Deputy Fleming said there is a lot of young qualified nurses in Ireland who should be employed and this is an ideal opportunity to do this and would also achieve better value for money for the tax payer.
I enclose a copy of the letter I received from the HSE outlining the cost, the number of hours, and the whole time staff equivalent persons for each of the hospitals.