The Minister for Health has said he has no "magic wand" to recruit more nurses into the health service.

Simon Harris was speaking at a three-day recruitment drive in Dublin which he said is just the start of the HSE's campaign for 2017.

52 nurses attended the event at Dr Steeven's hospital in Dublin today, with 25 of these offered contracts.

The HSE has also said a further 13 positions were offered in Waterford.

Yesterday 19 nurses were offered jobs after more than 30 nurses turned up, bringing to 57 the total number of positions offered in two days.

The HSE has set a target to recruit 1,000 nurses by the end of 2017. 

Mr Harris has said he wants to see regional events rolled out as part of this campaign.

He said he was satisfied with the package on offer and that many nurses are returning here to be closer to family and friends.

Asked about SIPTU's decision to ballot 30,000 healthcare workers, the Minister said he was "disappointed" and urged SIPTU to engage with the HSE to resolve the row.

SIPTU claim the Department of Health and the HSE are in breach of the national public service agreement.

The union wants the reintroduction of a job evaluation scheme which it says could result in its members getting more pay.

Those affected include hospital porters, security and catering staff as well as home help.

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Mr Harris also announced that delayed discharges in Irish hospitals have reached a low. 

The number has fallen from a recorded high of 832 in October 2014 to 436, below the key target of fewer than 500 patients. 

Mr Harris said it is hugely welcome progress for patients who have been waiting in acute hospitals for support to go home or for a place in a care setting that is better for them and meets their needs.  

Meanwhile, figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation showed there were 315 patients waiting on trolleys or in wards for admission at hospitals across the country this morning.