Seanad debates

Thursday, 7 February 2019

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Grace O'SullivanGrace O'Sullivan (Green Party) | Oireachtas source

It is time the Minister accounted for it. Why are the Ministers, Deputies Harris and Donohoe, not sitting down with the unions and communicating with them and seeing what the problem is? There is no dialogue happening. The only dialogue we hear is in media accounts of what is happening.

I saw the nurses on strike in Waterford but I went into the strike committee centre in the hospital and saw how they were co-ordinating to make sure the wards were supported. Nurses were being taken from the picket when there was demand for them. They are caring and willing but at their wits' end. It is unfair that our nurses are out on the picket lines in this cold weather. The Government is at fault, not the nurses.

A nurse from Waterford, Breda Jones, said this is their Rosa Parks moment and they are standing up. They should have been standing up ages ago. I ask the Government Members to take their heads out of the clouds, get down to earth, and speak to the IMO, the nurses and the people who are supporting them. The situation is atrocious.

A 2017 ESRI reported concluded that: "Two decades of rapid population growth, a decade of cutbacks in public provision of care and a consequent build-up of unmet need and demand for care [will require] additional expenditure, capital investment and expanded staffing and will have major implications for capacity planning, workforce planning and training." Bearing in mind the rainy day fund and money being wasted by the Government, would it, for God's sake, support our nurses because they need care?


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