Thursday, 7 February 2019
Nurses and Midwives Industrial Action: Statements
I thank Deputy Mattie McGrath for sharing time. The Minister, Deputy Harris, must engage with the INMO in a constructive and meaningful manner. The ongoing issues of pay inequality, staffing levels and poor working conditions have been in existence for some time. We can no longer afford to lose our newly qualified nurses to other countries where they get respect. I met nurses on the picket line outside the Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore last week. They are frustrated and fed up with their working conditions. They are pulled from one section of the hospital to another because of understaffing. That is unfair on front-line workers and their health, as well as on patients. The Minister, Deputy Harris, needs to take action. It is appalling that the Taoiseach worked in the health service and saw how bad things were, yet he presides over this crisis. These nurses are working in a health service which, like the Government, is not fit for purpose.