LATEST: Health Minister defends appointments of HSE managers

UPDATE 1pm: The Health Minister has defended the appointment of new managers in the HSE.

It comes after the executive confirmed the number of new managerial appointments increased by 84 in the first six months of this year.

The figures, which were released following a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil, show nearly three new managers were appointed every week in the first half of this year.

However, top medics have described the HSE as 'completely dysfunctional' - with calls for the Government to step in.

Minister Simon Harris said: "This old chestnut is I suppose straight out of the typical book of opposition politicians during the summer season where you put in a parliamentary question, you try to get the number, and you try to make a load of hype about it.

"Let's be very clear, the number of managers in the health service is dramatically reduced since the economic recession, about 2.600 less people working in management and administration."

EARLIER: There are calls for the HSE to be dismantled after reports the health authority is appointing almost three managers a week.

Critics say the service is top-heavy with high-end staff as the latest figures show managerial posts are up by more than 50% since 2013.

Michael O'Keefe is a consultant surgeon at the Mater and Temple Street Hospitals.

He thinks the Health Minister could easily improve the system:

"I'd start off at the hospital level, and I'd rationalise the management structure, setting targets for hospitals, that they'd run on time, clinics are properly and efficiently run, and the operating room services runs properly, and I would advise him we need more beds.

"I would dismantle the HSE and the same with the Department of Health and rationalise and merge them together."

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