Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Gerry Adams TD backs nurses

16 January, 2019 - by Gerry Adams TD


Speaking today during the debate in the Dáil on a Fianna Fáil motion on the pending nurses strike Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams expressed his support for the Nurses.

The Louth TD also read to the Dáil an email from a woman who outlines her personal experience with midwives.

Sinn Féin, the Labour Party, Independents for Change and the Social democrats have submitted an agreed amendment to the Fianna Fáil motion.

Teachta Adams said:

“Sinn Féin supports the thrust of the Fianna Fáil motion but there are obvious gaps. So, the amendment we have tabled, along with Independents for Change, the Social Democrats and the Labour Party, is about closing these.

"In particular, our amendment tackles the issues of pay and of recruitment and retention. The series of planned strikes by the INMO and Psychiatric Nurses Association are actions of last resort. The pending strikes are a result of bad government policy.

"In the two hospitals in my constituency, Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda and Louth County Hospital in Dundalk, working conditions for nurses have become increasingly difficult.

"Instead of tackling the very real issue of recruitment and retention of staff the government and HSE in 2017 spent thirteen and a half million euro on agency staff between the two Louth Hospitals. This is a short sighted policy that contributes to the crisis in health.

"In December I spoke with the INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha and north east representative David Miskell. They outlined the scale of the crisis in the health service.

"Last November was the worst ever month for overcrowding in our emergency departments. By the end of 2018 almost one hundred and ten thousand admitted patients had been forced to wait in emergency departments. This is the worst figure since records began.

"On Tuesday Dr. Fergal Hickey of the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine, described our Emergency Departments as “warehouses for admitted in-patients”. Dr. Hickey said the problem is not enough beds.

"More beds, needs more nurses. That means tackling the problem of pay and the related issues of recruitment and retention”.

Addressing the Dáil Gerry Adams read the email sent to him and other Dáil TDs today on the Nurses strike. The woman has asked to remain anonymous.

In her email she writes:

“While part of the dispute is about pay, the working conditions of nurses and midwives need to be addressed immediately. 

I have on a number of occasions needed nursing and midwifery care. 

On one of these occasions, nearly 9 years ago, I was an hour away from giving birth to my stillborn son. 

At this time, the nurses and midwives were again looking for better working & pay conditions from the government and I commented to the midwife that I was sorry about how badly they were being treated by the government. 

The midwives that delivered my stillborn son were amazing. 

The care they gave to myself, my son and my family was full of love, empathy & compassion. 

It saddens and angers me greatly, that 9 years later, the working conditions have gotten worse for the nursing and midwifery staff. 

 I would also like to make you aware that I have a hospital appointment for the 30th January. 

This is for a simple test which will be the final test of 4 tests needed for a diagnosis. 

Not getting this test will delay my treatment. 

Even if my treatment is delayed, I will give my full support to the nurses and midwives on the day. 

I will also be joining the nurses and midwives on the picket line”.

Concluding she says: “Please give your support to the nurses and midwives & improve their lives and working conditions. They deserve every cent.”

Connect with Sinn Féin