Friday, 27 March 2020
An Bille um Bearta Éigeandála ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail (Covid-19) 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages
I note and welcome this lengthy amendment. I am partially reassured by the Minister's response. It is an onerous registration process. Perhaps after this emergency when we come through the other side of it, we can reflect that a lot of what we do is quite onerous and a bit plodding and it prevents speed of action. We need to look at every area of our lives, legislation, policy and procedures, etc., always being mindful of risk and safety. I know there are about 100 nurses from the USA, and I made representations in this Chamber a few years ago on behalf of three of them, who were not considered competent or were not allowed to become practising nurses here because of the strict criteria of a set time for clinical hours and a set time for theory hours.We need to look at that. I hope for those based in the UK it will not be three months. I salute those in the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland and the Trojan work they have done in getting over 500 nurses reregistered. They are getting it down to a matter of a week or a week and a half.
Does the Minister have any idea about the UK licence to practise nursing throughout Europe? Has that been impacted by Brexit? We are going off on another tangent. In the meantime I want to say something that has nothing to do with this Bill. You will probably stop me, Acting Chairman. Anyway, well done to the Minister on pay for the student nurses. However, many more front-line staff and students may be left out. I am thinking of radiographers in particular. They are doing the work of trained and qualified professionals under supervision. We will need to look at that as things move on.