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We need more nurses with better working conditions - David Cullinane TD

22 August, 2020 - by David Cullinane TD

Speaking following the publication of a programme of work for the expert review body on Nursing and Midwifery, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD said we need more graduate nursing places, more nurses working in our public health system and better terms and conditions of employment. 

Teachta Cullinane said:

“I welcome the publication of the programme of work for this expert panel. Nurses and midwifes are the backbone of our health care system. They are working directly on the frontline often in very challenging conditions. 

“The current pandemic has again demonstrated the need for more nurses in the public system and better working conditions. Most nurses have reached burnout and deserve better.

“Never again must we see a recruitment embargo on hiring front line health care staff. Recruitment and retention of nurses and midwives must be our goal and not a block. 

“The truth is we need thousands of new nurses to relieve pressure on existing staff and to open the acute beds needed to increase capacity. More nurses and midwives will be essential in reducing the unacceptably high patient wait times. 

“We also must address issues of pay and working conditions. Sinn Féin supports the call from the INMO to ensure that if a worker acquires an illness in the work place, it must be reportable to the Health and Safety Authority and investigated.

“These measures and more can be introduced now. While the expert group should rightly focus on medium to long term objectives we need an urgent health care plan that guarantees a contract to as many front line staff as we can recruit. 

“The future of our public health care system is contingent on attracting front line staff into the system and retaining them. This means addressing capacity issues and valuing the work nurses do.”

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