The HSE does not know how many people have been employed as a result of the activity of private recruiting firms, which have been paid a total of €15.5 million since 2020.
According to a breakdown of numbers, these companies were paid €2.88 million in 2020 and €9.78 million in 2021, with €2.6 million paid in the first five months of this year.
The HSE stated that the number of staff hired through recruiting agencies is “not centrally available” since data is stored in ” disparate HSE Regional Finance Ledgers” According to the Irish Examiner.
The most money was spent in the HSE’s North West and Mid-West (NWMW) financing area, which includes Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, west Cavan, Clare, Limerick, and north Tipperary.
In 2020, €1.36 million was paid to private recruitment firms for the NWMW area, followed by a further €7.36 million in 2021 and €645,231 from January to the end of May this year.
The HSE said these heightened costs, relative to other areas, was partly due to the recruitment services of TTM Healthcare for Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim and addition staff at University Hospital Limerick’s intensive care and high-dependency units.
The HSE added that Winter Plan initiatives were behind the area’s spending increase between 2020 and 2021.
TTM Healthcare was one of two businesses paid more than €2.5 million by the HSE for their services since 2020, the other being Kate Cowhig International. TTM Healthcare earned €2.55 million, while Kate Cowhig International received €2.68 million.
The figures were revealed in response to a parliamentary question from Labour TD Sean Sherlock, who described the spending at “frustrating and mind-boggling”.
“For two years now we are being told the issue is recruitment and that we cannot recruit the staff.
“I do not think the public are buying that any more, with over €15 million spent on companies to recruit,” Mr Sherlock said.