HSE will need to hire thousands of workers as population grows significantly, ESRI warns

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Thousands more doctors, nurses, midwives and other specialists are needed for large-scale healthcare recruitment to fill waiting lists and care for increasing numbers of elderly patients.

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) is today identifying potential gaps in coverage as the population is expected to increase significantly to 5.4 million and people are expected to live longer.

Basic services, including hospital care for the elderly, efforts to reduce waiting lists and implementation of the Sláintecare plan, require a significant recruitment drive.

The HSE-funded study focuses on the staffing needs of public acute care hospitals across the country between 2019 and 2035.

ESRI warns that up to 15,500 additional workers will be needed in the coming years.

The study uses census data to estimate where population growth will occur and provides a first look at the system’s major weaknesses and staffing shortages. The recruitment of counselors, nurses, midwives, health workers, nutritionists, occupational therapists and social workers needs to be increased.

A strong projected increase in older age groups is identified as the dominant driver of underlying service demand and hence labor demand

According to the report, the number of people aged 85 and over will more than double as the population grows to 5.4 million by 2035.

The largest staffing gaps in the health care system are in the regions in the east of the country – but there is a nationwide need for staff.

The author of the ESRI report, Dr. Conor Keegan, said, “The results show that an increase in the workforce in public acute hospitals will be required in all regions and all staffing categories examined in this report.”

Overall, the ESRI report estimates that 12,418 to 15,491 additional employees will be needed by 2035.

In addition to up to 3,236 other doctors, up to 8,868 nurses and midwives are needed nationwide.

In addition, up to 3,277 additional health workers and health and social workers are expected to be needed.

“Large projected increases in older age groups are identified as the dominant driver of underlying service demand and hence workforce needs,” says the report released today.

“Particularly large relative increases in the need for personnel were found for health and social professions (especially occupational therapists and speech therapists), which are needed in particular by older people in hospital.”

According to the report, the government’s current plans to significantly increase the publicly funded healthcare workforce in the coming years come in the context of “recognized staff shortages and an Irish population which is expected to continue to grow and age rapidly”.

It predicts that average workforce growth of between 1.7 and 2.1 percent per year will be required to keep up with demand. It is said that human resources planning will be key to the implementation of the Sláintecare reforms.

Anne Marie Hoey, national HSE director of human resources, said the findings raise “important considerations” in terms of acute labor investment, workforce planning and training in the years to come.

Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly said: “This report makes an important contribution to informing the needs of the health sector going forward in the context of the broader work on strategic workforce planning being carried out in my department.”

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/hse-needs-to-recruit-thousands-of-staff-as-population-set-to-grow-substantially-esri-warns-41866595.html HSE will need to hire thousands of workers as population grows significantly, ESRI warns

Fry Electronics Team

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