The HSE confirmed to the Donegal News that in the year to March 2012 the 48 people retired from both LGH and the St Conal’s Hospital campus.
The HSE pointed out that it should be noted that this is 48 people, rather than 48 whole-time equivalent (WTE) staff, as many of those who retired worked flexible hours.
The consultants who were re-employed are in specialist grades and were re-employed to ensure continuity of service. This is to be reviewed at the end of June.
The Donegal News understands that 50 per cent of the 48 who retired are front line clinical staff.
The HSE stated that from September 2007 to March 2011 the workforce reduced by 99.3 WTE at Letterkenny General Hospital. It explained that this is WTE so the actual number of people would be greater.
“Any retired staff who are re-employed by the HSE are from critical specialist grades such as nursing, medical, dental and allied health professionals who are deemed to have essential skills and experience to provide cover for critical vacancies on a temporary basis only.
“These staff members are paid in line with Revenue Commissioner requirements/regulations. Retired staff who are rehired are paid through payroll and earnings are subject to deduction of PAYE, PRSI and Income Levy similar to other employees.
“The Pensions Abatement Regulations apply to the extent that the rehired pensioner may not earn more, between pension and salary combined, than if he/she had continued to work in their former post,” the HSE statement concluded.
LGH re-employments would only account for a very minor fraction of the €11.6 million paid to re-employed HSE staff nationally last year, as figures released this week showed.
Country-wide the 686 retirees included 462 nurses and 45 doctors as well as clerical workers, porters and social workers.
The doctors, who retired on lucrative pensions, were hired as locums and earned around €40,000 each.