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Munster calls on Minister for Health to show nurses the respect they deserve

18 January, 2019 - by Imelda Munster TD

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has called on the government to treat nurses with the respect they deserve by supporting their demand for pay increases.

Speaking in the Dáil this week, Deputy Munster criticised the government’s claim that it was not in a position to pay for the increase, pointing to the fact that the Minister for Finance can pay for tax breaks for banks and landlords and increases in TDs’ pay.

Deputy Munster said:

“We all know the excellent work carried out every day of the week by nurses and midwives in Our Lady of Lourdes and Louth County Hospital and in public health provision right across the state.

“Nurses view strike action as a last resort, so the fact that 95% of balloted INMO members voted in favour of strike action should be a wake-up call for this government.

“Nurses and midwives are taking a stand to ensure that sick and vulnerable people can be looked after properly in a safe and well-resourced environment.

“Nurses have been leaving the country for years to escape the poor conditions in the HSE. Conditions are terrible – nurses are overworked, services are under-resourced and the work is difficult and often dangerous.

“Conditions are deteriorating due to the recruitment and retention crisis, which stems directly from poor working conditions and poor pay.

“Despite a population increase of half a million in the past 10 years, we have 6% fewer staff nurses.

“The government currently spends €1.2million a week on agency nursing staff to plug the gap in services. This is a huge waste of tax-payers’ money. We need to invest in services and in nurses.

“If the Minister for Finance can afford tax breaks for banks and landlords in his Budgets, he can afford to pay nurses fairly.

“Sinn Féin is fully behind the action taken by nurses. I sincerely hope that the Minister for Health comes to his senses and does not allow the situation to escalate to strike action

“It’s high time this Minister and this government showed nurses and midwives the respect they deserve.”

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