Alarming decrease in Nursing numbers in Mayo - Sen Rose Conway-Walsh
Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has said that the continuing decline in nursing numbers in Community Health Organisations in Mayo is deeply worrying.
Community nurses are vital to areas such as Mayo where lack of public transport make it difficult for patients to attend regular appointments at the larger hospitals in the region.
Speaking after Sinn Féin received figures from the HSE showing a reduction of 242 in community nurses in Mayo in the last 10 years, Senator Conway-Walsh said;
“This is on top of a reduction in the nursing staff at Mayo University Hospital by 30 nurses.
"This trend began with the Fianna Fáil government imposing a moratorium on recruitment to the health service.
"The result of this was reduced numbers in community and acute nursing across the county.
"The extra demands in healthcare over the past ten years should see a reversal in that trend however the figures received today show that the reduction is continuing.
"Community and acute nurses are essential to the delivery of proactive frontline health care and unless immediate action is taken to reverse the decline in their numbers then it will be impossible to deliver health care, primary care and other services such as mental health services in a manner which people need.
"If Fine Gael is serious about implementing Sláintecare then they should be seeking to increase community nurse numbers, not standing over their decline.
"The figures released today should serve as a wake-up call to Fine Gael to target recruitment of nurses before the cumulative effect of a decade of cuts impacts even more on those most vulnerable in our community and those working inside a system which is bursting at the seams.
"Exporting our trained nurses while we have a nursing crisis in this country is regressive and irresponsible."