In 2008 the HSE made cuts that saved them €280 million. The effects on the people working on the ground were certainly felt. The prospect of job cuts was particularly frightening for a population that had become very used to the Celtic Tiger. Pharmacist had a lucky reprieve after the HSE backtracked on cutting drug payments. This was not before some job losses though and we are still seeing reduced salaries for Pharmacists in the region of 10%. Allied Health was also hit hard. There were not all that many job losses, but there were many cases of positions not being refilled as staff left. I know of one person in who asked for a leave of absence. His resignation was accepted!
So is the worst of it over now that we find ourselves in a brand new year? Were Job Cuts a 2008 phenomenon?
Not likely. The HSE has indicated that it will be aiming to save a further €650 million by the end of 2009. I don’t know about you but that figure scares me. Not as a recruiter, but as a potential patient. I really do not want to get sick anytime soon. These views have been echoed by Stephen McMahon of the Irish Pationts Association (IPA). I’ve done my time in hospitals and that was before the worst of the cuts were implemented. I know how stretched staff were then and I find it hard to imagine that it is possible to save that amount extra in just one year without making life on the front line unbearable. The HSE needs to get the money back that they lost on the government U-turn on Medical Cards for our pensioners. They also have to allow for extra eligability for medical cards as up to 10% of our workforce find themselves workless.
Should you worry about your job? It seems unlikely that you need to worry about loosing a job you already hold at present. Manufacturing looks like it will be the worst hit sector, with retail already shedding staff and planning on further culls.
We at Jackie Brown Medical have not noticed a perceptible slow down in any medical jobs sector. In fact we would go so far as to say the weeks leading up to Christmas (traditionally a slowish period in recruitment) were far busier than we had anticipated. Congratulations to those of you starting shiny new jobs in 2009.
We have heard of companies struggling but our own opinion, based on our current business growth is that the medical market in general remains strong. We expect to see various sectors taking punches at different times throughout the year but the outlook is nowhere near as grim as some of the scaremongers would have you believe. Job Cuts do not necessarily mean your job, and current indications are that Job Cuts do not mean a reduction in recruitment needs. In fact right now is the perfect time to hire new staff. Early panic in 2008 led to redundancies. The result of that is that there is a higher than usual number of exceedingly good candidates on the market at the moment. Those companies that take advantage of the situation by hiring the best staff available now will be able to reap the rewards as their competition concentrate on cost cutting rather than increasing quality and service. Companies are still hiring, people are not going to suddenly stop getting sick. If you work in healthcare then you are more fortunate by far than many in other sectors. Happy New Year!