Pay increase welcome but obstacles to recruiting nurses remain- Cllr Máire Devine
Sinn Féin councillor and election candidate for Dublin South Central Máire Devine has stated that while any increase in pay for student nurses is welcome, it is not enough to encourage more nurses to return home.
Speaking today from Crumlin Cllr Devine said:
“Cuts to student nurses pay was a huge mistake and we have paid the price with nurses leaving the country in droves to seek better working conditions and opportunities elsewhere.
“The government has now decided to increase pay to over the minimum wage, while this is welcome I am also extremely disappointed that this pay increase is not being applied retrospectively.
“Pay is not the sole reason why it is proving increasingly difficult to retain nurses, working conditions are a key factor.
“Sinn Féin has pledged to reverse the massive cutbacks to nursing numbers overseen by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour by recruiting an additional 2500 nurses over a five year term.
“We aim to also make working in the Irish health service more attractive by making working conditions better.
“We will establish an emergency department task force on a permanent basis and we will increase the number of hospital beds per 1,000 of the population of less than 4 to 4.6 in emergency departments.
Sinn Féin's plan for health provides for many career advancement opportunities for nurses.
“We will fund the training of an additional 100 nurses in Nurse Prescriber skills and complete the roll out of suicide crisis assessment nurses.”
“We have also budgeted for an additional 800 consultants with support teams that include Advanced Nurse Practitioners. We also provide for the recruitment of Practice Nurses to work alongside GPs.”