Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Anne Rabbitte has called on the Health Minister to ensure that theatre staff are recruited for University Hospital Galway as a matter of urgency. Following a Parliamentary Question, the Saolta Hospital Group stated that there are “on-going staff nurse recruitment campaigns taking place both locally and nationally”, however there is still an unacceptably high number of vacancies at the hospital.
Deputy Rabbitte commented, “Staff vacancies at University Hospital Galway have been a consistent problem, leading to exceptionally long waiting lists and thousands of cancelled operations. There are 22 vacant theatre posts in the hospital, which is having a major impact on patients. Many are having their procedures postponed or cancelled, while others are being forced to wait months for surgery.
“There appears to be no urgency to fill these vacant posts. When questioned about the large number of unfilled positions, the Saolta Hospital Group referred to recruitment campaigns through the National Recruitment Service as well as “continuous advertisements” on the HSE website. Over 5,500 operations were cancelled at UHG and Merlin Park last year. We cannot have a repeat of that in 2016.
“These posts need to be filled as a matter of priority. The situation will only be exacerbated over the summer months as existing staff take annual leave. Is management going to stand back and allow already depleted services grind to a halt? This is simply unacceptable and I am calling on Minister Simon Harris to intervene”.