Nurses from two hospitals in Co. Tipperary have voted in favour of industrial action over staffing levels.
Nurses at St Patrick’s Hospital in Cashel and St Anthony’s Unit in Clonmel have asked the HSE for additional staff over the past few months as their current level of staffing means they are unable to "provide acceptable standards of care to vulnerable patients".
The vote was carried overwhelmingly, with 98% in favour, and the type of industrial action is yet to be decided.
However, the INMO said it may include a full withdrawal of nurses "unless senior HSE officials in Community Healthcare Organisation Area 5 take seriously the nurse vacancies".
INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Mary Fogarty, said: “INMO members are forced into this dispute which is not for themselves, but for their patient population who are elderly, frail and vulnerable.
"Nurses have a duty to advocate to the HSE on their behalf. The current nurse staffing levels are inadequate across all shifts.
"A failure to provide such a plan will make industrial action inevitable,” Ms Fogarty added.