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Government arrogance and ineptitude have forced nurses and midwives to strike - Louise O'Reilly TD

8 January, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking this afternoon following the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation announcement of dates for 24-hour strike action, Sinn Fein Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said that nurses and midwives have been "forced to undertake this action by the arrogance and ineptitude of this government".

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Strike action by nurses and midwives has been a reality for a number of months now and today the dates for industrial action by members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) have been announced.

“A strike is the last thing nurses and midwives, or any medical professional, wants to have to undertake, but the nurses and midwives in our health service have been forced to undertake this action due to the ignorance, arrogance, and ineptitude of this government.

“Members of the INMO have not taken this decision lightly - this is their last resort because they have been left with no option.

“This action has decisive support amongst members of the INMO with 95% of them balloting for strike, and I know from speaking to the people that they have huge support amongst the public.

“The government have had nearly 8 years to address the nursing recruitment and retention crisis in the health service, but they have completely failed and the situation has deteriorated.

“Nurses, midwives, and their unions have continuously sought engagement with the Minister for Health and the Minister for Finance in order to address the core problems of staff shortages and pay in order to avert the escalation to industrial action, but they have been ignored.

“In fact, they have been verbally attacked, threatened, and insulted as they have tried to go about achieving a solution to this crisis which is crippling our health service.

“It is the staff in our hospitals who have acted in a responsible and mature manner; however, the government have decided to disengage.

“The truth of the matter is no one in this state is putting the health of patients more at risk than Pascal Donohoe.

“Nurses are striking on the 30th of January in order to get the government to sit down with them to discuss the issues causing the recruitment and retention crisis, the least this government can do is to engage with them.

“If the government refuse to engage then further strikes will take place in February on the 5th, 7th, 12th, 13th, and 14th.

“Nurses and midwives deserve our support and we should support them in their demand for a better health service which treats them as essential skilled workers with dignity and value.”

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