Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson, Billy Kelleher TD has said that basic surgical services are being put at risk due to the HSE’s inability to attract and retain nursing, and medial, professionals.

Deputy Kelleher was commenting following a reply to a parliamentary question he received from the HSE on the provision of cochlear implants for children over six years of age.

The HSE stated in their reply that “Due to ongoing challenges in Temple Street, in terms of attracting and retaining theatre nurses, and as a result of rolling theatre closures, it is proving challenging to provide access to surgical services in a timely manner.”

“Any delays in these children receiving their procedures can be very damaging to their future speech and hearing,” added Kelleher.

“Having procedures cancelled in our public hospitals for young children cannot be deemed acceptable by the HSE and the Minister.

The Minister for Health, and the HSE, needs to actively work to retain nurses trained in Ireland.”

“While I accept that the HSE are seeking to find alternative supports in the private health sector. However, longer term, we will see similar service reductions across a larger range of specialities unless the HSE do better at attracting and retaining nursing and medical professionals.”

“This is an issue of fundamental importance. Without the required number of nurses and doctors, our health system will crumble, and our ability to provide basic services will be severely diminished,” concluded Kelleher.