Waterford University Hospital
A Waterford election hopeful has described as "astonishing" figures that show University Hospital Waterford spent €7.1 million on agency staff in 2018.
The figure represents a €1.7 million increase on 2017 and shows that the hospital spent over €136,000 a week on its agency bill.
Sinn Féin local election candidate in Waterford City East, Michael Doyle said: “This is a truly astonishing figure and just days after a no-confidence motion in current Minister for Health Simon Harris, tabled by Sinn Féin, it proves that the HSE is being run in a chaotic manner with little control on financial costs."
“Overall, throughout the country, €318m was spent on agency staff in all of our hospitals representing an increase of €26m on 2017."
“Agency staff do not provide value for money, there is no continuity of care for patients and the spend displays that recruitment and retention of suitably qualified staff in our hospitals is in crisis," Michael said.
“These precious funds should be directed towards employing permanent and highly skilled staff that will build an effective and functioning health service without extensive waiting lists."
“The bill represents a massive waste of precious taxpayers money almost €2 billion since Fine Gael entered Government in 2011. The placing of agency staff in our hospitals has now become normalised under this Fine Gael / Independent Government aided by Fianna Fáil through their confidence and supply agreement," Doyle added.
“No hospital can have certainty and excellence when this approach to staffing is undertaken. It needs to stop and permanent staff need to be placed in our hospitals," he concluded.