Local hospitals such as Craigavon need access to EU staff, say Sinn Fein, as figures show thousands of vacancies unfilled.
Sinn Féin spokesperson Niamh Cusack has said new figures of more than 6k vacancies ‘highlight the crippling impact on the health service’.
Ms Cusack said: “This actually only shows the scale of vacancies being actively recruited. The true scale of the workforce issues is not represented in these figures. There are nearly 2k additional vacancies being recruited compared to the same time last year with the vacancies covering all trusts and roles. This includes Registered Nurses, Social Carer workers, admin staff, allied health professionals and doctors.
“We know that following the Brexit vote the number of registered nurses coming to the north from the EU has reduced sharply.
“Local Hospitals like Craigavon need access to EU staff to deliver first class modern medicine in conjunction with locally recruited high skilled staff. “Ensuring capacity in the health and social care workforce is fundamental to delivering existing front line services.”