Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has demanded the publication of a HSE report on the recruitment of consultants. It follows revelations on RTÉ’s Prime Time about major gaps at the top of the health service which is threatening patient care.

Deputy Kelleher said: “I have been aware from talking to people in the health service that there were gaps in Consultant posts but the scale of the problem detailed on Prime Time I think a lot of people will find very worrying. The report which the HSE has had since November should be published as a matter of urgency to ensure a full public debate can be had.

“Only two weeks ago Minister Reilly denied at the Health Committee that the recruitment of consultants was more difficult at the moment. But it’s clear the HSE is having problems filling key posts. The public have a right to this information.

“Prime Time highlighted major gaps in consultant posts in emergency medicine, cardiology, radiology, neurology and other vital areas for patients. This is patient safety issue that must be addressed. Critical posts in the care of very sick children as well as posts in the North West Hospital Group, the North East, across Dublin and in Waterford are vacant at the moment and the Minister cannot bury his head in the sand.”