Reilly: Nothing wrong with unpaid leave14/09/2012 - 13:15:17
The Minister for Health says he sees nothing wrong with hospitals offering staff unpaid leave in a bid to save money.
James Reilly said that both staff and patients want to get away during holiday times and a safe service can be provided once unpaid leave is planned in advance.
He made the remarks after reports today that one hospital in Cork is offering staff the opportunity to take unpaid leave next month in an effort to save money.
However, in a statement, the South Infirmary-Victoria University Hospital says all staff were given the opportunity to take unpaid leave during the October mid-term break, but the choice was entirely up to them.
The hospital also says that offering staff voluntary unpaid leave during quiet periods is common practice at many hospitals and is part of forward planning.
Dr Reilly says the policy would be welcomed by staff and patients if its managed properly: “People are away and we all know that when holiday breaks come it’s not just the staff that want to get away. The general population want to get away and don’t want to be a hospital during that period for an elective surgical procedure.
“They would much rather be visiting granny down the country or heading off to wherever for a little break.”
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