Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher says figures provided to him indicate that the HSE appointed almost three new managers every week in the first half of 2017.

Data released by the HSE reveals there were 1,159 people employed at National Director, Assistant National Director, General Manager or Grade VIII level at the end of June this year.  The figures show a year on year increase in management positions from 2014.

“If there is one area of the health service where the HSE has no difficulty recruiting it’s in the managerial area. While they struggle to fill white coats, they seem to have a special talent for increasing the numbers of white collar staff”, said Deputy Kelleher.

“At the end of November 2016 –  when I submitted the previous Parliamentary Question – the question the HSE said there were 1,075 personnel serving at national director, assistant national director, general manager and grade VIII level.  By the end of June this year, that figure had increased to 1,159 – an increase of 84 over the previous 30 weeks or 2.8 managers per week.

“The recruitment of these managers has coincided with staff shortages and deteriorating services elsewhere in the health sector. We are crying out for nurses and consultants in many of our acute hospitals, and figures releases last week revealed a fall in dental surgeons across the country.

“It should also be remembered that the HSE blamed personnel shortfalls in mental health services for the decision to close 11 of the 22 beds in the Linn Dara Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service facility at Cherry Orchard Hospital in Dublin.

“The HSE will undoubtedly claim that these new managerial appointments are essential but many will be sceptical about that. In any case, can they show any other area of the health service where staffing levels have risen by more than 50 per cent since the end of 2013?”