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Minister Harris must sit up and take notice of nurses and midwives – Louise O’Reilly TD

9 January, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Health Louise O’Reilly TD has said that Minister for Health Simon Harris has been complicit in the recruitment and retention crisis within the health service and that him ignoring nurses and midwives is not going to work.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Minister Harris himself has dismissed the nurses strike as unwarranted. A 95% endorsement of strike action shouldn’t be dismissed with one single word from the Minister.

“The only way this is going to be resolved is when the government sit around the table and talk seriously and meaningfully to the nurses – that’s what they’ve been looking for.

“A 95% result in favour of industrial action from INMO is a very loud and clear message to the government that they need to stop dismissing nurses. He needs stop trying to shift the blame for their failures onto health care professionals.

“We have a recruitment and retention crisis within the health service and we can see that today with 565 people on trolleys across the state.

“These 565 patients didn’t get there by accident; they got there because of government policy.

“At the moment we’re spending over €1million a week on agency staff. We have our graduates leaving in their droves to go to English speaking countries because they know they will be much better paid there and the conditions are better.

“If we are going to start to implement anything to do with Sláintecare we need nurses, midwives and healthcare professionals on the front line doing that work. The Minister needs to sit up and take notice.

“If you look back at the Taoiseachs’ remarks just before Christmas when he said to dedicated health professionals that their holidays are part of the problem, it just shows that he is really ignoring the fact that government policy has caused this crisis.” 

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