Gardaí process 5,500 vetting applications for healthcare workers in three weeks

Gardaí process 5,500 vetting applications for healthcare workers in three weeks
Extra staff are needed at the frontlines.File picture.

Gardaí have processed 5,500 garda vetting applications for healthcare workers over the past three weeks.

The applications have a turnaround time of just one or two days to get extra staff to the frontlines.

Assistant Secretary-General of the Department of an Taoiseach, Liz Canavan said the work of the gardaí means there are 5,500 more healthcare workers available.

She said there are "nearly 2,000 for the Health Service Executive (HSE), over 1600 for the national recruitment federation for medical staff, over 900 for the nursing homes of Ireland and over 800 for independent hospitals, healthcare agencies and the volunteer sector."

Meanwhile, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said more personal protective pquipment (PPE) may be needed as current orders begin to arrive in Ireland.

He said: "I know the issue of PPE (personal protective equipment) has been an issue of major concern.

"We have been in negotiations worldwide to secure a very significant order of over 2,000,000 [Items of PPE] and that delivery has started over the last few days.

"We are however engaged to secure alternative stocks should these supplies not materialise to the extent we expect."

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