Dáil debates

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Nurses and Midwives Industrial Action: Statements


10:40 am

Photo of Bríd SmithBríd Smith (Dublin South Central, People Before Profit Alliance) | Oireachtas source

The buildings in which they work are not safely staffed. The ratio of nurses to patients is appalling. The safe ratio is 1:4. The real ratio in Ireland is something like 1:8 or 1:11. That is why the nurses are taking the action they are taking. They cannot guarantee patient safety and are sick and tired of apologising to patients and their families. The safe ratio must be attained and the nurses' unions have given the Government a way to do so, which is to prove that where there is a safe ratio of nurses to staff, there is 50% less mortality, less risk of cross-contamination in wards, a reduction in the length of stay in hospital and people get home sooner, as a result of which the longer term care they need afterwards is also reduced. The nurses' unions can scientifically reckon for the Minister that €600 million a year would be saved by increasing the ratio to safe levels. There is the Government's get-out clause and the reason it should pay nurses properly.

Saturday will be a really important day for the general population which is behind the nurses. RTÉ cannot find a single voice to say they do not support them. At 12.30 p.m., at Parnell Square, the entire population who can do so needs to be there to support the nurses.


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