Taoiseach taking a back seat on nurses’ strike – Mary Lou McDonald
The Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has accused the Taoiseach of “taking a back seat” with regard to the impending nurses’ strike.
Addressing the Taoiseach in the Dáil McDonald said:
“Taoiseach, you have completely failed to address the recruitment and retention crisis in nursing and midwifery.
“This crisis and the associated issue of pay is one of the most significant problems affecting the health service. It has been an ongoing issue for many years now. You can’t pretend that this issue has taken you by surprise.
“Strike action is the very last thing nurses and midwives - or any medical professional for that matter - wants to undertake, but regrettably, nurses and midwives have been backed into a corner and forced to engage in industrial action because of the actions - and inactions - of your government Taoiseach.
“Nurses make a significant contribution to the health service. They make a significant contribution to society. And they deserve our full support in their demand for a better health service.
“Your approach, however, has been to dismiss their concerns and industrial action is now the regrettable outworking of you and your Ministers approach to failing to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis.
“At the eleventh hour Taoiseach - with thousands of surgeries cancelled and strike action to begin at 8am in the morning, will you now concede that you have utterly failed to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis? And will you accept that pay is an issue that needs to be addressed?”