Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has warned that “failure by the government to address glaring fialings in its healthcare policies will only make the crisis in the health service and the impact of the nurses strike even greater.” The Louth TD said: “The onus is on the government to resolve this worsening crisis within the health service.
“The announcement on Monday by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) that its 40,000 members will hold a 24 hour work stoppage on 30th January is a direct consequence of bad government policy.
“The Union has also stated that if necessary further work stoppages will occur on February 5th, 7th , 12th, 13th and 14th. “The working conditions for our nursing staff have become increasingly stressful and difficult due directly to Government’s wilful neglect of the public healthcare system, including its failure to retain existing staff and recruit new staff..
“Sinn Fein is also worried about the effect any strike will have on the provision of health cover in Louth. “Currently there are thousands of patients across this constituency who are already on long waiting lists for medical appointments, procedures and therapies at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda and The Louth Hospital, Dundalk.
“Both I and Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú spoke to the INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheagahda and north east representative David Miskell shortly before Christmas.
“They indicated to us that in the event of strike action all non-life-saving services will be withdrawn for 24 hour periods, there would be no normal ward services, all outpatient appointments and elective surgeries would be cancelled and there would be no respite services.”
Councillor Ó Murchú added; “The Minister for Health and the Minister for Public Expenditure must meet with the INMO to avoid this devastating industrial action.
“In addition the Minister for Health should immediately implement the recommendations of the recently published ‘Taskforce on Nurse Staffing’ which demonstrated, through a pilot project in Our Lady Of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, that patient mortality levels in the hospital decreased by 50%.”