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Government failing in nursing recruitment drive – O'Reilly

26 May, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD


Government failing in nursing recruitment drive – O'Reilly

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said that figures released to her show that the Government and the HSE are failing miserably in their nursing recruitment drive because they still haven’t addressed the key issues of working conditions, facilities, supports, training opportunities, and pay.

Deputy O’Reilly said;

“The recent recruitment drive by the HSE and the Government to tackle the issue of recruitment and the retention of nurses within the health service is falling well short of expectations. The Government and HSE recruitment drive which aims to attract 100 nurses each month into the health service, however, figures released to me (which include recruitment since December 2016) show that the drive has so far only managed to attract around 34 nurses per month (excluding student nurse figures).

“This is an abysmal but unsurprising failure given the Government's refusal to address the key issues of working conditions, facilities, supports, training opportunities, and pay.

“The situation regarding nursing shortages in at a critical state given there are 3,200 fewer nurses and midwives than there were in 2008. Only earlier this week, we had the announcement that due to the staffing crisis in our health service the Linn Dara Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service facility at Cherry Orchard Hospital is due to lose half its beds today.

“The situation at Linn Dara is replicated around the country where poor planning by the HSE and Government combined with their failure to address key issues such as working conditions, facilities, supports, training opportunities, and pay has meant that their recruitment drive cannot have the desired results.

“If the Government wants to see an increase in the recruitment and retention of nurses in our health service, then they have to address these issues immediately.

“However, it does not bode well for our nurses, midwives and other healthcare professionals when both prospective leaders of Fine Gael want to continue their party’s attack on the pay and conditions of those who provide essential services while banning their recourse to strike.

“A ban which coincidentally contradicts European Human rights law that sees the right to strike as a fundamental right of self-defence.

“It is in the national interest to resolve the staff recruitment and retention issues in our health service, and in order to do this the key issues as identified by nurses, midwives, and other healthcare professionals, as well as the INMO, the PNA, and the IMO. If this is not done then our health service will continue to melt down.”

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