Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Loss of 700 nursing jobs will devastate frontline health care

10 February, 2009

Sinn Féin Mid Ulster MLA and Deputy Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, Michele O'Neill has warned the Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey that the loss of 700 nursing staff will devastate frontline health care.

Speaking today Ms O Neill said:

"It clear that the loss of 700 nurses will devastate frontline services and Sinn Féin will fight any attempt to cut these vital jobs.

"Sinn Féin recognise that there are financial pressures on all Departments including Health but the way forward is not to cut frontline services such as nursing jobs, home help services and the ambulance service.

"We See Michael McGimpsey focusing on Care in Community as a redirection of services to allow for these cuts. What he doesn't tell us is that these are so under resourced that many elderly in the community are getting only fifteen to twenty minutes a week in care.

"These are jobs that are essential to the function of a full and effective health service without which patient care will inevitably suffer. I think if you talk to any nurse they will very clearly tell you that both themselves and their colleagues are stretched. To loose 700 nurses is wholly unacceptable.

"Michael McGimpsey as Minister for Health must be more creative and innovative in making efficiency savings. Currently Michael McGimpsey is hiding behind the excuse of efficiency savings to attack one of the most vital sectors in our health service."

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