The HSE spent just over €17bn last year, including almost €5bn on the funding of non-statutory agencies.
Its annual report shows since 2018, overall staffing levels have increased by 1.7% or 1,960 employees.
The report found that nursing and midwifery got most new recruits with 561 extra staff, followed by patient and client care, 427.
Medical and dental staffing got the next highest increase in staff, with an additional 390 employees, of which 154 were consultants.
More than 1.5 million people were covered by a medical card, while more than a million were in receipt of a GP visit card.
The report also shows 69% of patients waited less than a year for an outpatient appointment.
In the report, HSE Board Chairperson Ciarán Devane praised the response of healthcare workers to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said: “I am extremely grateful for the dedication and extraordinary commitment of every member of staff for all that is being done during this unprecedented and difficult time.
"That thanks extends to General Practitioners (GPs), pharmacists and other community-based workers as well as to everyone working in our partner organisations and our stakeholders.
"Healthcare workers, from the doctor or nurse in the front line to the procurement expert or tech support colleague, all have mobilised quickly to protect our country and our people from the virus. They are to be admired and commended.”
Also writing in the report, HSE Chief Executive Officer Paul Reid, said that many of the measures taken during the Covid-19 pandemic have the potential to transform the HSE.
Mr Reid said: “Our health system has shown an agility and a resilience that many of us did not believe was possible.
"As CEO I hope to support our staff to continue to give the best of themselves, to be proud of their efforts and to be working for the HSE, and to sustain the confidence of the public, which has been so very important in sustaining all of us this far.
“As CEO I am immensely proud of the innovation we have shown in response to the current crisis.”