IHCA Statement on the HSE National Service Plan 2022

By dara
Tuesday, 1st March 2022

HSE NSP 2022 front cover SqCommenting on today’s publication of the HSE National Service Plan 2022, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) said:

“Only a few days after publishing a Waiting List Action Plan, the HSE brings forward its Service Plan for 2022.

“Targets to reduce the excessively long waiting times faced by our patients are not ambitious, but rather unrealistic, given the current realities of a massive shortage of hospital Consultants, acute hospital beds, and theatre facilities. 

“This latest Plan in no way adequately addresses these key deficits, that are the root cause of there being almost 1 million people waiting for essential care in this country. 

“The last time there were no patients waiting longer than 12 months for hospital treatment was in December 2013. To consider including such a target today, after what has been the most challenging two years for our health service and at a time where there remains over 700 vacant Consultant posts, completely undermines the credibility of this Plan. 

“We are extremely concerned that neither of the Plans brought forward in the last number of days commit to a specific target for the number of additional hospital Consultants to be appointed and in-post during 2022 or beyond. 

“Nor has there been any engagement or follow through on commitments made towards solving the core issues around Consultant contracts and ending the pay discrimination introduced in 2012 against Consultants appointed after that date.

“While the Government and health service management sit drawing up their targets, the opportunities to tackle our waiting lists, address our staffing crises and save our ageing facilities are passing them by.”

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