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Government mismanagement and ineptitude paving the way for strike action across health service – O’Reilly

27 November, 2018 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking this morning, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said that government mismanagement and ineptitude will be the cause of any strike action by health workers.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“As we head into another winter, the outworking’s of the government’s mismanagement of the health service, and general ineptitude, looks to be large scale industrial unrest.

“Despite what the government say, their inability to address the systemic problems in the health service which have been causing a recruitment and retention crisis amongst health workers of all professions and grades is driving workers towards industrial action.

“Currently, nurses belonging to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and nurses belonging to the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) are balloting on whether or not to go on strike in a dispute over the recruitment and retention crisis, understaffing, and safety in the health service.

“While the vote for industrial action is taking place among the nurses and midwives of the INMO and the PNA, many nurses have already voted, they have voted with their feet and have left the health service and have left Ireland.

“The outworking of this is that there are 1,650 fewer nurses and midwives employed today than there were in 2007, despite the population having grown by almost 500,000 in that period.

“The causes of the unrest amongst nurses and midwives are completely at the doorstep of this government. For nearly eight years they have mismanaged, underfunded, and destroyed the health service because of their ideology and their ineptitude.

“Added to the unrest amongst nurses and midwives, hospital consulates belonging to the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) have also threatened strike action in the New Year over the recruitment and retention crisis caused by pay inequality.

“Like their nursing colleagues, doctors have also voted with their feet and have left the health service in huge numbers, the result being that there are currently 500 vacancies for consultant positions across the State.

“The Minister for Finance, the Minister for Health, and the government need to engage with nurses, midwives, doctors, and their unions as a matter of urgency and formulate a real plan which addresses the core problems of the crisis and avert any possible industrial unrest.” 

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