Press Release

Minister welcomes Comhairle’s decision to endorse appointment of additional Consultants

Micheál Martin T.D. Minister for Health and Children today welcomed the decision by Comhairle na nOspidéal to endorse the appointment initially on a temporary basis, of an additional 29 Accident and Emergency Consultants and up to 15 Consultant Anaesthetists for the acute hospital sector. Comhairle na nOspidéal has statutory responsibility for the regulation of consultant posts in the health sector.

In view of the urgent need to improve the position in A&E Departments and the long lead in time in appointing consultants it has been agreed that the new posts initially be filled on a temporary basis. The appointment of additional consultants to these two key service areas forms part of the £25m investment package recently announced by the Minister which is aimed at alleviating service pressures on acute hospitals. Improving the position with regard to faster senior decision making in A&E Departments is viewed as a key element of enhancing patient services and reducing delays.

Other elements of the package include the provision of funding for the contracting of at least 500 additional private nursing home places to provide step-down care for patients who no longer need acute hospital care. The Minister has also announced that a review of the structure, operation and staffing of accident and emergency services is to be undertaken by Comhairle na nOspidéal and will be supported by his Department. The review will be undertaken as a priority, will take account of the views of relevant stakeholders and will also have regard to best international practice in this area.