100 jobs to go as HSE cuts back on services

MORE than 100 jobs and a range of care services are to be cut in the Dublin and mid-Leinster health services as part of the cost-cutting drive by the Health Service Executive (HSE).

According to IMPACT trade union, which represents 28,000 health workers, its members have been told the cuts will be made in the coming months.

The union claims:

* 100 posts to go in Dublin/mid-Leinster.

* Up to 15 contracts in Primary, Community and Continuing Care services (PCCC) will not be renewed.

* One residential unit in the region, as yet unidentified, is set to close.

* On-call arrangements to be cut by half.

* Region-wide overtime ban.

* Maintenance services reduced to emergency cover only, in cases where maintenance may cause health and safety concerns.

Elsewhere in the country, the union claims, 10 beds in South Tipperary General Hospital are to close from June 1 in order to cope with the summer annual leave period.

There will also be a two-week closure in the operating theatre, day ward, paediatrics and outpatients department.

In the mid-west region the union found that adoption, social work, psychology and therapy services are struggling to cope due to under-staffing.

IMPACT members, currently engaged in an industrial dispute against the cuts, claim the examples it has uncovered are just a fraction of what the union believes is actually the case.

Yesterday, 28 lunchtime protests across the country were the latest form of industrial action taken by the union’s 28,000 members in the therapy and administrative grades.

The workers are already refusing to carry out reporting duties and are refusing to cover the work which they believe should have been done by the posts which have not been filled.

The HSE said there is no embargo on recruitment within the public health service.

Since January 2008, more than 3,400 posts have been approved to be filled which will bring the total staff employed across the HSE, voluntary hospitals and voluntary agencies to 128,000.

“In short, recruitment continues to happen — with a large number of important medical consultant posts approved and advertised every week,” it said. “With regard to other recent claims by IMPACT, since last September (when the temporary recruitment pause was introduced until the end of 2007), the number of speech and language therapists and occupation therapists employed has, in fact, increased.

The HSE has invited IMPACT to meet with senior management next Monday, June 16, to engage in dialogue with a view to agreeing a process towards resolving this dispute.


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