Politicians should focus on nurses' strike and not children's hospital, says leading oncologists

Politicians should focus on nurses' strike and not children's hospital, says leading oncologists
Professor Seamus O’Reilly, consultant medical oncologist at the Cancer Research Centre in University College Cork

One of the country’s leading oncologists is calling on politicians to “put the national children’s hospital aside” until there is a full report and instead to focus on finding a solution to the nurses strike.

Professor Seamus O’Reilly, consultant medical oncologist at the Cancer Research Centre in University College Cork, says that he is very concerned that “people are not sitting at a table discussing ways to find a resolution.”

He told RTE’s Morning Ireland that the bottom line is that patients are suffering because of the curtailing and delay in services. Before the strike operations were already being cancelled because of the lack of nurses.

“As a society we need to prioritise seeking out nurses.”

Prof O’Reilly called on the political parties “to put the national children’s hospital aside until we have the full facts” and instead to devote their energies to avoiding the three days of planned strikes next week.

The consequences for patients are causing upset and concern, he added. Cancer patients may be at the top of the queue for rescheduling appointments, “but the queue is getting longer.”

There are going to be substantial knock-on effects for patients, he warned. The longer the strike continues the more at risk patients will be. Patient safety and outcomes are being compromised.

“I would urge all sides to sit down and talk.”

Prof O’Reilly said we live in a society with a health service that cannot operate without nurses. “We can’t provide care without nurses.”

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