The HSE has launched a major international campaign to recruit more than 400 consultants to work in Ireland, including medics who practise abroad.
As the Irish Examiner reports, there has been a crisis in the profession, with the Irish Hospital Consultants Association saying that more than one in five roles were not permanently filled.
However, the HSE is undertaking a publicity drive to try and find consultants to fill posts all over the country, with the hope of easing current pressures on doctors.
The move will also mean a number of doctors will be rostered to work on evenings and weekends on a more permanent system.
Speaking about the initiative, Anne Marie Hoey, HSE national director of HR said: “This new recruitment campaign will specifically focus on recruitment of consultant doctors for our hospital and community services, where we hope to fill over 400 vacancies this year.
“We’ll be targeting people working in Ireland and internationally, both those who trained in Ireland, and new talent from international locations.
“We want to develop an awareness of the variety of consultant posts available in Ireland and make eligible clinicians aware that the new, generously-remunerated consultant contract is live.
“Posts are available now in a range of specialties, and this contract marks another important step in implementing Sláintecare and improving access to our health service.
“There is a global shortage of healthcare workers at the moment, and a fiercely competitive market.”
Over the last two years, the HSE has hired 3,500 nurses from overseas as part of its campaign to improve the health service.
Commenting on the recruitment drive, Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly said: “We have recruited over 20,000 additional staff to our health service over the last three years, including over 2,000 doctors as we continue to expand and build capacity.
“The new consultant contract is central to our drive towards universal healthcare and delivering for our growing and aging population the health services they need.”