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“Minister must act now to avert another major crisis across our hospital network” - Ó Caoláin

20 January, 2015 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has expressed deep concern at an impending crisis in nursing staff numbers that has led Junior Health Minister Kathleen Lynch to admit that she is very concerned at the possibility of well over 1,000 nurses leaving our health services.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said;

“I note that Junior Minister Kathleen Lynch has admitted she is worried about the implications of a large-scale exodus of nurses from Ireland’s health service, nurses that will qualify for retirement between now and June. She has confirmed that she has personally raised the issue with both An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar.

“She recognises the possibility ‘of well over 1,000 leaving’ but hopes that the service manages to encourage many of them to stay on. The only way to ensure this is to change staffing so that chronic levels of understaffing are reversed and that nursing is made as attractive as it had been in the past. These nurses are vastly experienced and to lose them would deal a great blow to our health service.

“The Minister must ensure that the same service is not seen as something to be escaped from at first chance. We need to increase staffing levels and attract Irish graduates who have decided to work abroad over the past number of years many because of the recruitment embargo and some, undoubtedly, who did not want to face or to continue to work in our flawed services. The more staff that leave the harder the work becomes. The Minister for Health Leo Varakar must act now to avert another major crisis across our hospital network” concluded Ó Caoláin.

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