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QUESTION NO: 325 to the Minister for Health and Children (Ms. Harney (Dublin Mid-West)) for WRITTEN ANSWER on 22/04/2009

* To ask the Minister for Health and Children the way she will ensure that front-line services provided by nurses are protected in view of the moratorium on recruitment and promotion imposed on the HSE; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – David Stanton T.D.


In order to implement savings measures on public service numbers, the Government has decided that, with effect from 27 March 2009 to end 2010, no post in the public sector, however arising, may be filled by recruitment, promotion, or payment of an allowance for the performance of duties at a higher grade. The decision also applies to temporary appointments on a fixed-term basis and to the renewal of such contracts. Therefore when vacancies arise, each agency must reallocate or reorganise work or staff accordingly. In the case of the health sector, any exceptions to this principle, which will arise in very limited circumstances only, require the prior sanction of both the Minister for Health and Children and the Minister for Finance.

In order to ensure that essential front-line services provided by nurses and other health care professionals are maintained, the new employment control framework for the health sector provides for the redeployment of staff (and associated salary costs) within and across the hospital and primary, community and continuing care pillars, and from one institution to another to support the development of integrated care delivery.

The way in which the Government decision will be applied in the health sector is a matter for the Health Service Executive, and I have accordingly referred that part of the Deputy’s question to the Executive for attention and direct reply.