IMPACT responds to sick leave criticism

Saturday 1st October 2011

IMPACT members in the HSE West region were criticised last month as figures showed higher than average sick leave levels among staff, particularly in Ennis and Limerick hospitals.

HSE West regional forum chairman Padraig Conneely made one of his customary attacks on health staff. “I thought the sick people were in the hospitals in the beds but obviously they are not. It is the people outside the hospitals, the workers, who are very sick. I think these people would get the door very quickly in the private sector,” he claimed.

Conneely is well known for his frequent, careless and sometimes personal attacks on public service workers.

But IMPACT official Andy Pike went on radio to say the Fine Gael’s councilor had got it wrong again. “It’s not correct to say that 1,100 people are on sick leave each day in HSE west because this figure includes all those on long term sick leave with serious health problems,” he said.

“We agree that management should operate the sickness absence procedures properly to investigate the causes of sickness absence and thus to reduce it,” he said.