Is HSE winter initiative doomed to fail before winter begins?-Kelly

01 November 2016

Labour Party spokesperson on Health, Alan Kelly TD has criticised the closure of ten in-patient beds during critical winter months in University Hospital Waterford.

“To close beds at this time of year is worrying for patients in the South-East and nursing staff who will feel the extra burden of these beds being closed.

“The question must be asked now with the INMO telling us that this won’t be the last time we see hospital beds close this winter, where does this leave Minister Simon Harris’ much hyped-winter initiative? As we are nearing a shortage of 4,000 nurses in the service, is the winter initiative doomed to fail before winter even begins?

“When the Government refuses to countenance an acceleration of pay recovery for public servants, they are making situations where hospital beds have to close because of lack of staff who are willing to take up jobs in the HSE more likely. The Labour Party has been making the case that Budget should have included some allowance for acceleration of pay recovery. Negotiations should begin now with all public sector unions to put in place a longer-term deal, delivering pay restoration, with Lansdowne Road folded into it.

“The Government needs to address the extremely worrying shortage of nurses in the system to ensure that we don’t see anymore hospital beds close in this winter season.”

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