INMO warns that poor pay and short staffing are driving nurses out

Delays in the recruitment of new nurses will cause more overcrowding in emergency departments this winter, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has warned.

The INMO criticised the pace of recruitment at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health meeting today.

INMO representatives told the Committee that nurses face massive overcrowding in emergency departments, with 714 patients on trolleys one day this year.

According to the INMO, there have been nearly 10,000 attacks on acute hospital staff in the past decade, over 70% of which were against nurses.

Speaking after the committee meeting, INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:

“Ireland’s health service is in crisis, with nursing staff put under extreme pressure, even in summer. Winter is coming, and I worry that more nurses will either burn out or look for better-paid work overseas.

“A decade ago, the health minister declared nearly 500 people on trolleys as a ‘national emergency’. Yet we’ve seen days with over 700 people on trolleys in 2018, with little or no political urgency.

“The time for reports and reviews is over. Patients deserve hospitals which are appropriately staffed by properly paid nurses. That will not happen without real investment in the health service.”

“Irish nursing wages simply aren’t at the races when it comes to the international job market. Compared to other recruiting health systems, Irish nurses work longer hours for lower pay. The proof is in the pudding: nurses would not be looking at opportunities overseas if pay and conditions were worse there."

“Without a pay increase, the health service will not be able to maintain existing capacity, never mind the growth required for a growing and ageing population," she said.

Digital Desk

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