Health Minister James Reilly has said that he would like to see a scheme – which will see the hiring of 1,000 graduate nurses and midwives – expanded to other areas of the health service.
The extra staff will be given a two-year contract but will be paid 20% less than a staff nurse.
It is believed the HSE will save around €10m next year as a result of the recruitment drive.
The Minister was criticised today by his former Junior Minister Roisín Shortall who highlighted lengthy waiting lists for primary care services such as speech and language therapy and physiotherapy.
Minister Reilly said that a similar graduate programme could help.
"I want to see similar opportunities afforded to people who have studied physiotherapy," he said.
"[They] got 550 points in their Leaving [Certificate exam], done four years in Trinity [College], and many of them can't find a job when they come out.
"They're not able to sit up on their own, as it were - but given a couple of years' experience, they would be well fit to go into primary care, where we need them, and need them badly."