Fianna Fáil TD for Kerry John Brassil says he was shocked to learn that a vacant Cardiologist post at University Hospital Kerry has still not been advertised.

In a reply to a Topical Issue debate in the Dáil yesterday, Deputy Brassil was informed that the post is “awaiting approval by the HSE’s Consultant Appointment Advisory Committee” and that it will only be advertised once it has been approved.

This is in direct contradiction to a Parliamentary Reply from the HSE, which was sent to Deputy Brassil last June.

“I was completely shocked at Minister Byrne’s reply to me in the Dáil yesterday evening.  I have been raising the vacancy at UHK since I first became aware of it last year and had been told by the HSE that “the replacement process commenced as soon as the official resignation was received from the previous cardiologist”.  This is blatantly not the case”, said Deputy Brassil.

“The HSE and the Department of Health are singing from two different hymn sheets – the HSE is claiming the replacement process has commenced, but Minister Byrne yesterday told me that the post would not be advertised until the Consultant Appointment Advisory Committee approved the post.

“This is a deeply worrying situation.  The cardiologist post has already been vacant for 10 months; if the recruitment process has not even begun, it will be many more months until a consultant takes up the position.  If UHK is to continue as a category 3 24/7 hospital, the appointment of full time cardiologist is critical

“Why has there been such a delay in approving the post?  And what measures are being taken to speed up the process.  I will be contacting the HSE and the Minister for Health again to raise this issue – a vacancy of this length of time is completely unacceptable”, concluded Deputy Brassil.