A&E doctor numbers

Emergency Department Registrars at Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan

As of 6th February 2012 there were 62 posts in all specialties –
including Emergency Medicine – in HSE hospitals and agencies which
remain unfilled. These posts constitute 2.6% of the all HSE NCHD posts
and 1.3% of all NCHD posts nationally.

A very significant number of these posts are currently being filled by
locum / agency staff – meaning that a doctor is in post to provide the
service. The HSE is working to address the dependence on agency
staff.

Approximately 36 Registrar posts in Emergency Medicine are currently
filled by locum/agency staff. The shortage of Registrars in Emergency
Medicine is not just an issue in Irelandbut internationally. Northern
Ireland, Scotlandand Englandhave experienced similar problems. The HSE
is working closely with individual hospitals to address their needs in
this area.

A number of other initiatives are being considered to ensure that
hospital EDs continue to offer a high level of care to all patients.
This has included a 50% increase in the number of Consultants in
Emergency Medicine since 2005 (from 52 to 78) and reviewing current
staffing levels of all disciplines in Emergency medicine, to ensure
that the HSE can pursue a sustainable staffing model for ED’s into the
future that is not so reliant on junior doctors. The HSE welcomes the
IAEM proposal for a ‘Staff Grade’ doctor in Emergency Medicine and
will progress discussions in this area.