The General Secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has criticised the deliberate “slow down in recruitment that has been imposed by the HSE nationally.”
Phil Ní Sheaghdha told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that this has put hospitals under severe pressure.
Hospitals in Cork had a number of nurses on panels in October but were not sanctioned to put them on payroll until the end of December, she said.
This policy means hospitals are unable to open beds and “it has to go.”
Ms Ní Sheaghdha said a number of measures announced to ease pressure in Cork should help. These include seeking additional bed capacity in the private sector.
The INMO has called on the HSE to issue a statement to reassure the public that if they attend EDs they will be seen, she added.