Supporting Local News

Housing costs leave hospitals with staffing crisis

Skilled medical staff are declining job offers in County Galway because of the ongoing housing crisis – amid claims the unavailability of accommodation was pushing healthcare workers to move abroad for employment.

The warning on the housing shortage’s impact on local health services came as HSE management admitted this week that an embargo on recruitment of staff was hitting a whole range of services locally where waiting lists were growing as posts remain unfilled.

At this week’s HSE West Regional Health Forum meeting, health chiefs were urged to linkup with local authorities and housing agencies to provide homes for healthcare staff before recruitment becomes even more difficult.

Dr Evelyn Parsons called on management to provide accommodation for healthcare workers at Portiuncula University Hospital, and in nursing homes and community care in east Galway.

The Galway County Councillor for the Ballinasloe Local Electoral Area told the meeting she was aware of 15 healthcare workers and their families affected by the accommodation shortage in Ballinasloe.

This included people who had been offered jobs in Portiuncula and nursing homes in the town who were “struggling and not able to get proper accommodation in and around Ballinasloe”.

If they’re not living in the town, transport was another difficulty for workers commuting to the health settings.

Many workers came from abroad, and were having difficulties converting their driving licences, which was another barrier to them taking up offers of employment in healthcare settings, she said.

“I’ve met with and been told by their community representatives that it (unavailability of proper housing) was putting people off coming here to take up employment. It is a factor in them staying short-term, and leaving to go elsewhere such as Australia,” she said.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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