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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

Today sees the commencement of the global forum on human resources for health. This is a four-day conference that will begin in the RDS. No doubt the World Health Organization, which is one of the co-sponsors, will be pointing out to us that the problem of a shortfall in health care workers is worldwide.
There are some other issues. The WHO will also tell us, by reference to reports in advance of the conference, not only that we have a problem with a shortfall of health care workers, including nurses, doctors and so on, but that this can be compounded when Brexit comes. Basically, we are looking at a situation where there will be a concerted effort on the part of the NHS in England to recruit our nurses and doctors and, in effect, poach them. That would put us in a critical position with regard to providing the proper health service we need.
We know the HSE has published the Health Services People Strategy 2015-2018 in response to the depletion in numbers of front-line health care workers, especially nurses. We know the executive is having difficulty in achieving targets in recruitment. This is because people have retired and young graduates are going abroad. An Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation study showed that many young nursing graduates intend to work abroad and that the net increase in nursing staff numbers from September to December this year was only a net figure of 13. Clearly, there is a major problem here.
One particular issue of concern is that in response to this departure or planned departure by nursing graduates from the country, the HSE has basically agreed that from now on permanent contracts should be offered to nursing graduates for 2016 and 2017 such that they would have reason to stay and build their lives here.