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Government’s refusal to listen to nurses and midwives ‘damaging the health service’ – O’Reilly

28 August, 2018 - by Louise O'Reilly TD


Speaking this morning, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said that the government’s refusal to listen to nurses, midwives, and their unions is having a damaging effect on the professions, on patients, and the health service.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“For years now, nurses, midwives, and their unions have been raising the serious problems the professions have been experiencing and resultant recruitment and retention crisis.

“They could not have been clearer in the manner which they addressed this issue and the knock on consequences it is having on patients and the health service as a whole.

“The recruitment and retention crisis, low morale, burnout, and other difficulties have been raised by nurses and midwives, by politicians in the Dáil and Seanad, and by journalists and commentators in the media.

“However, to date, the Minister for Health and the government have not paid heed to their reasonable requests for better working conditions, better facilities, more supports, increased training opportunities, and for the issue of pay to be addressed.

“This is evidenced in many ways, but especially by the fact that, more than halfway through 2018, the HSE still hasn’t produced a funded workforce plan for 2018 to indicate how many new nurses and midwives they plan to hire this year.

“This is not only completely insulting to nurses and midwives, but it is also a breach of a national agreement by the HSE.

“In addition to this, there is the continued delay in the Public Sector Pay Commission’s special report on whether the country’s health service is experiencing difficulties recruiting and retaining key medical and nursing staff.

“Therefore, it is little wonder that the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Nurses (INMO) are now to hold an emergency meeting over pay and staffing levels.

“The government needs to listen to nurses, midwives, and their unions regarding the problems facing the profession which are having a direct impact on staff, patients and the health service.

“On Thursday, I will publish my party’s ‘Time to Stand up for Nurses and Midwives’ policy document which focuses on addressing the recruitment and retention crisis within the professions. 

“It will focus on how to address the key issues which nurses and midwives have consistently highlighted as being a significant problem, namely pay and pay equality, working conditions, facilities, supports, and training opportunities; I hope it will offer a blueprint to the HSE and the government on how to fix this crisis affecting nurses and midwives.” 

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