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QUESTION NO: 192 for WRITTEN ANSWER on 08/04/2008

* To ask the Minister for Health and Children the number of Health Service Executive staff currently on maternity leave or leave of absence; the arrangements in place by the HSE to provide cover for this leave through replacement staff, overtime and so on; the percentage of positions for which full cover is being provided; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – David Stanton T.D.


Almost 130,000 people work full-time or part-time in our public health services. In recent years, the Government’s ongoing high level of investment in health has achieved and maintained significant increases in the numbers of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals employed in the public health services. The Government has also invested heavily in the education and training of such personnel in order to secure a good supply of graduates to provide for the healthcare needs of the population into the future.

Subject to overall parameters set by Government, the Health Service Executive has the responsibility for determining the composition of its staffing complement. In that regard, it is a matter for the Executive to manage and deploy its human resources to best meet the requirements of its Annual Service Plan for the delivery of health and personal social services to the public. The Executive is the appropriate body to consider the matter raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.