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Absenteeism at Mater Hospital may be symptom of wider problems in health service - Mary Lou McDonald

3 August, 2006


Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP has today said that "the strain of years of under-funding and under-resourcing is taking its toll on hospitals, health centres and staff across the state".

Ms McDonald made her comments after a report revealed high levels of absenteeism at the Mater Hospital in Dublin.

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"The recent report cataloguing absenteeism levels at the Mater Hospital is an obvious cause for concern. It is apparent that the high levels of absenteeism go right across the board from nursing staff to support and administrative staff. This certainly points to wider problems in the health service.

"It is essential that staff at the Mater feel secure and comfortable whilst carrying out their duties. Nursing organisations have previously called for the recruitment of additional nurses to reduce the pressure on existing staff.

"The strain of years of under-funding and under-resourcing is taking its toll on hospitals, health centres and staff across the state. Our nurses work at the coal face of their profession in often difficult conditions. Long hours combined with overcrowded wards and a shambolic A and E service undoubtedly affects the morale of people working in the health sector." ENDS

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