Bullying complaints don't show full extent of problems in HSE, union claims

Bullying Complaints Don't Show Full Extent Of Problems In Hse, Union Claims
Last year's figure of 38 complaints was up from 29 in 2021
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Michael Bolton

New figures show there were 171 bullying complaints made in the HSE across the last five years.

According to data released under the Freedom of Information Act, last year's figure of 38 complaints was up from 29 in 2021.


As the complaints of bullying in the HSE continue to rise, union leaders fear the figures fail to show the true extent of the problem.

Dr Matthew Sadlier from the Irish Medical Organisation said the problem is more widespread.

"We've done a survey of doctors in the service, and we are getting reports back where 50 per cent of doctors would have said that in some point of their career they have experienced x amount of bullying.

"Given that you have about 10,000 doctors working in the health service, it's very hard to see how those numbers relate back down to 171.


"The HSE has stuff somewhere in the region of 150,000 people, so the concept that the numbers are that low. I don't belive the numbers are that low is the answer.

"They seem very low for the number of staff."

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Reflecting on the numbers of staff who experienced bullying in the HSE, Dr Sadlier called for change in the culture of the health service, as well as making the complaints process easier.

"It does show that there is a culture problem in terms of bullying when it comes to the health service.

"It shows there is an actual problem when it comes to the reporting of bullying, and as I say in our survey, we got 50 per cent of doctors reporting an episode of bullying in their career.

"That translated to 24 per cent saying they experienced an episode in the last two years."

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