Fianna Fáil’s Primary Care and Community Health Services Spokesperson, John Brassil TD has said that HSE’s systemic inability to recruit staff is being demonstrated perfectly by the delays in advertising the role of Director General of the organisation.

“The HSE and the Minister for Health have known of Mr. O’Brien’s retirement as DG since last summer. It was put into the public domain some months ago, yet no progress has been made in advertising for the role let alone finding a suitable replacement.

“The Government seems to be blaming the commitment to reforming the HSE in line with the SláinteCare report for the delays in advertising this role.

“The SláinteCare report has been in the public domain for well over eight months. The HSE have known about Mr. O’Brien’s pending retirement since last summer. There has been ample time to accommodate any potential changes arising out of SláinteCare in terms of job specification, I believe.

“This is yet another example of the inability of the HSE to appropriately engage in succession planning for senior roles.

“We see it right around the country. When a consultant retires, the advertisement for his or her replacement is usually only made public after that doctor has left their position.

“This failure to act in a timely manner would not be tolerated in any other organisation. In fact, I’d argue that other organisations wouldn’t be able to continue on with their activities if such a recruitment strategy was employed.

“I firmly believe that the public advertisement to recruit Mr. O’Brien’s replacement should and could have been ready as soon as the announcement was made in Jan 2018 This would have given at least six months to secure a replacement.

“For all its managers and administrators, the HSE seems incapable of doing the basics right. Whether its doctors or nurses, or the Director General, their failure to properly recruit staff is having an impact on service delivery, and it needs to stop,” concluded Brassil.