Strong demand for health workers as vacancies increase

There is a huge demand for healthcare workers across the sector in Ireland, with staff being described as the ‘most valuable asset’ of the system.

Recent reports from government and independent companies have revealed that the number of applications and hires in the Irish healthcare sector has increased over the past two years.

However, the demand for personnel remains huge throughout the health sector, which is trying to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic and a growing need for health services.

Despite increased hiring and application levels, industry organizations and staff have noted the need for more staff in the sector.

The Irish Medical Organization (IMO) and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization (INMO) have been at the forefront for the past two years or so, highlighting the need for additional staff.

Both unions called for staffing plans and stressed that hiring more staff would also help retain existing membership.

Dr Noirín Russell, clinical director of CervicalCheck, the Irish cancer screening service, stressed the need to increase staff at all levels.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Dr Russell described staff as the “most valuable asset” of the healthcare system and stressed the need for increased hiring in the sector.

She also stressed the importance of staff feeling valued and respected in their role, adding that nursing staff provide the best care to their patients.

“People are the most valuable asset,” said Dr. Russell. “We have a very low rate of obstetricians per 100,000 population, one of the lowest in the OECD.

“One in five consultant positions is unfilled and it’s great to have nice buildings, but we need people to work there. We work in an environment where health workers are a precious commodity and where they are scarce everywhere, ”she added.

“We also have a particular need for medical scientists in our histology and cytology labs, but they are very rare. We are almost in competition with a shortage of health care workers in different fields.

“It’s not just in CervicalCheck, it’s in different areas of the Irish healthcare system. There are just not enough people working in many fields.

Dr Noírín Russell, Consultant Obstetrician / Gynecologist, CUMH. Photo: Denis Minihane

Dr Russell stressed the need for healthcare workers to feel respected in their work.

“It’s a matter of respect. People want to work for organizations they respect and where they are respected and feel valued, ”she said.

“In healthcare, we know that in order to achieve excellence and provide excellent patient care, you need people and you need your staff to feel respected and competent.

“You want to feel empowered – that you can change things that need to change. You want a sense of belonging to a team that works well as a team, and you want to know that you are competent at what you do, having both the skills and the resources to do what needs to be done.

“You have to have all of these elements to feel valued at work,” she added.

“You need a committed healthcare workforce and you need to take care of your staff because, if you take care of your staff, they are in a better position to take care of their patients. “

A number of reports have revealed that applications to work in the healthcare sector in Ireland have increased, along with the hiring of staff, in recent years.

A government report released last month found that Ireland’s healthcare workforce has grown over the past 18 months or so.

Meanwhile, data from the AI-based recruiting platform Occupop revealed that the number of applications for healthcare jobs tripled as the industry battled Covid-19 the year last.

A new Department of Health report titled Health in Ireland – Key Trends 2021 presented evidence from across the health sector on the progress and challenges that still exist in the delivery of healthcare in Ireland.

The report was released towards the end of November and revealed an increase in membership in Ireland.

At the end of 2020, there were more than 1,700 nurses and nearly 900 more doctors working in the HSE, compared to the end of 2019, according to the report. This increase in healthcare staff contributed to an increase in spending of more than 3 billion euros between 2019 and 2020.

The total number of full-time equivalents (FTEs) employed has increased 8.3% since 2011, the report also revealed.

All grade categories have increased since 2018, and the total number of public health jobs now stands at over 126,000.

All the specialties have experienced an increase over the last ten years and the total number of consulting hospital physicians now stands at 3,458.

The total number of consulting and non-consulting hospital physicians in Ireland is 10,928, an increase of over 44% since 2011.

Welcoming the release of the report, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said: “Health in Ireland: Key trends 2021 is a timely reminder of the importance of a strong health information system for measuring, monitoring and report on the quality of health care and patient outcomes. This is essential for the success of Sláintecare, a priority area for investment and reform of my department in the years to come.

Increase in job applications in the health sector

A recent report from Occupy found that the number of healthcare job applications has increased amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Occupop is an all-in-one recruiting solution that enables businesses to attract, manage and hire the highest quality candidates.

To date, Occupop has helped over 150 companies manage their recruitment, including companies such as Hertz, B. Beacon Hospital, DPS, Global Shares, Blackrock Clinic and more.

A report from Occupy found that nearly 70,000 applications for positions in the healthcare sector were submitted through the platform in 2020 alone, up from just over 23,000 in 2019. hiring has also seen a marked increase.

The data indicated a sharp increase in the number of applicants seeking jobs in the industry, which previously struggled to find enough talent to fill new and existing positions.

The most sought-after positions are health assistants (47.4%); administrative (31%); nursing and midwifery (8.5%) and paramedical professionals (6.2%).

Coinciding with the start of Ireland’s second wave, October 2020 saw the highest level of engagement in healthcare employment, with four times more job applications than the previous year.


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