More than 100 consultant posts vacant for longer than 18 months

A report by the HSE National Doctors and Planning group found that more than 100 consultant posts remained unfilled for over 18 months by the end of last year, despite a 12% growth in the consultant workforce. The report attributed the high vacancy rates to various factors such as job unattractiveness, shortages in specialties, and administrative delays. Model 4 hospitals saw an increase in consultant employment, while Non-Training Scheme Doctors (NTSDs) also saw a significant rise. The report highlighted the overreliance on NTSDs in emergency medicine and suggested initiatives such as public-only consultant contracts to reduce this dependency.

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