Health Minister must publish Winter Initiative plans

07 September 2018

Following the revelation by the Irish Midwives and Nurses Organisation that the HSE have no emergency department plan for Winter, Labour Party Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has called on Minister for Health Simon Harris to publicly address this issue.

 Deputy Kelly said:

“The revelations today by the INMO following their meeting with the HSE that they have been unable to fill nursing posts across the country and that the HSE refused to outline plans for the winter ahead is extremely worrying. 

“We have just come out of the worst summer on record for hospital overcrowding with over 7,911 patients on trolleys through out the month of August. If the problem is this bad in the summer, it is impossible to imagine the chaos that will ensue during the winter.

“We have now reached September with absolutely no confirmation from the HSE of the details of their much needed winter initiative. Minister Harris needs to put on record what the package for this year’s initiative is and how the HSE plan to attract nurses to Ireland to deal with this crisis.

“Ministers Simon Harris and Paschal Donohoe need to address the very real reasons as to why the HSE are unable to fill so many nursing posts, the answer has been starting them in the face for quite some time, the two-tier pay system in our hospital is turning graduate nurses off.

“Ending the two-tier pay system in our hospitals would go a long way to enticing more graduate nurses into our hospitals and would also play a part in encouraging more nurses home.

“The Labour Party has been very clear, the emergency is over, it is time to end the two-tier pay system across the public service. 

“Those who need to use our hospitals deserve to be treated in a timely manner and provided with world class treatment. Overcrowding of our A&Es and long waiting lists are symptoms of a system that requires better organisation and more people.” 

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