The general secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), Phil Ní Sheaghdha has said members are paying as much as €110 a day for childcare so they can go to work while schools and crèches are closed.
Ms Ní Sheaghdha told RTÉ radio’s Today with Séan O’Rourke show that she had submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to try to reveal what the delay was between four different government departments in putting a childcare plan in place for nurses.
“This needs to be sorted out now,” she said, as it was now four weeks since the issue was first raised with the Department of Expenditure and Public Reform.
Ms Ní Sheaghdha also said that the INMO has written to the HSE calling for a new policy to ensure that surgical masks are worn at all times by nurses and midwives during the Covid-19 crisis.
With testing delayed it must be assumed patients are Covid-19 positive and proper protections need to be put in place for healthcare workers, she said.
Nursing colleagues in Asia had reported that the availability of PPE and priority testing for frontline health workers was what saved their members from a poor outcome.