The HSE is planning to fill a new €90,000 management post in Limerick despite having to cut thousands from its workforce, it has been confirmed.
The executive also says it is trying to attract a non- HSE candidate as part of its “thinking outside the box”.
The new post is for deputy chief operations officer for the six HSE Mid-West hospitals — the Mid-West Regional, Croom Orthopaedic, Mid-West Maternity, St John’s, Nenagh General and Ennis General.
The recruitment drive follows confirmation that the HSE aims to cut its overall workforce by 3,500 in 2014, reducing staff numbers to 95,500.
It says the new post will carry a salary of €92,211 and the decision to group the region’s hospitals last year has led to its creation.
Asked by the Irish Examiner why the new post could not be filled by redeployment, a HSE spokesman said: “Building one hospital with a common system of governance across six separate sites in the Mid-West is a large undertaking and requires thinking outside the traditional boxes.
“Advertising an open competition provides wider choice and gives an opportunity to candidates outside the health service to apply.”
Amazingly, the HSE insists a new appointment — even from outside the HSE — will not lead to an additional management position being created
The HSE spokesman explained: “The post will not result in the creation of an additional managerial position as another non-frontline post would have had to have been suppressed in order to fill this post.”
When pressed to explain how the appointment of a new manager from outside the HSE would not add to current management numbers, the spokesman refused to elaborate.
However, one HSE source said that while the number of managers in the HSE Mid-West has been reduced in the past year, the reality is that when the new deputy chief operations officer is appointed in the new year, there will be one manager more than there is at present.
A Department of Health report has outlined the level of cuts it is targeting next year, as the health budget faces an €800m reduction.
The planned slashing of 3,500 jobs will be in addition to almost 5,000 personnel who left the health service in the run-up to pension changes last February.
The department report states that challenges facing the health service, “require stakeholders to consider all options and co-operate with voluntary redundancy programmes and other measures to accelerate reductions in staff numbers”.
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