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Voice for Nurses and Midwives in Seanad Éireann and National Health Summit Needed. 07.04.16
Press Release

On World Health Day INMO Call for a National Health Summit and a Voice for Nurses and Midwives in Seanad Éireann
 
With 390 patients on trolley this morning, International World Health Day, the INMO renewed its call for a national health summit and called on elected politicians to demonstrate new politics by showing cross party and independent support for the voice of nurses and midwives in Seanad Éireann.  
 
INMO past president, Madeline Spiers, RGN, BA, MLitt has been nominated for the Labour Panel of the Seanad, following a decision at the union’s annual conference last year to draw maximum attention to the problems of the health service by putting a nurse or midwife in Seanad Éireann.  
 
Thursday, 07 April has been designated as International World Health Day 2016.  It provides the focus for governments, policy makers and society to reflect on the health issues of the day and the challenges to deliver effective health services.  This week INMO, in conjunction with UCD, published the first ever Missed Care Report in respect of community health services in Ireland.  The report gives evidence of an under resourced community nursing service, which barely manages to meet the statutory obligations for eligible clients and that the cutbacks in health services have impacted greatest in terms of missed care on the most vulnerable groups in society.  “A staggering 72% of respondents reported that nursing care, with regard to their homeless population caseload, was missed during the previous week, while 67.3% indicated that nursing care pertaining to asylum seekers was missed during the same period.”  Similarly, for the previous week, the survey indicated that 70.7% of respondents reported that their work regarding the maintaining of the “at risk register” for older people was missed, while a further 62.6% indicated that follow up visits with older people were missed during the same time period.
 
The INMO fully support the call by the World Health Organisation on this day for action to halt the rise in diabetes.  This is a global problem and a particular problem facing the Irish health service.  About 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, a number likely to more than double in the next 20 years.  In 2012 diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths.  Type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 90% of all diabetes worldwide.  Type 2 diabetes in children has increased worldwide.
 
These issues are the tip of the iceberg in terms of the health challenges facing Ireland and the globe, according to Dave Hughes, Deputy General Secretary of the INMO.  
 
Seanad Éireann candidate, Madeline Spiers said, “We have been counting trolley watch for over a decade now and it is totally dispiriting for health professionals to preside daily over chronic overcrowding, which is now worse than when we first started counting trolleys.  Our Missed Care in the Community Report, which was conducted independently by UCD, poses a serious question mark over the much vaunted political commitment to the development of primary health care services and the impact of cutbacks on the most vulnerable communities such as Travellers, the homeless, people with disability, asylum seekers, and our elderly citizens.It will require new politics and a health summit to garner all parties’  support for a five year public health plan, with the necessary investment, to bring our health services to a level fit for purpose.”
 
Dave Hughes, INMO Deputy General Secretary, “Our nurse and midwife members are adamant that they need a direct voice in Seanad Éireann to put the focus on health as opposed to such debates always being qualified by cost.  We are calling on the elected representatives, who have votes for Seanad Éireann, to think outside of the box and give an opportunity for a voice from the frontline of healthcare speaking with the authority of 40,000 nurses and midwives in Ireland. We are appealing to all elected representatives to give Madeline Spiers their number one vote for the Labour Panel of Seanad Éireann”
 
Madeline Spiers is nominated for the Labour Panel of Seanad Éireann 2016 and the electorate for the Seanad panels comprises local County and City Councillors, outgoing Senators and the incoming TDs.  For more information please see leaflet here. 
 
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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:0016640600 E:inmo@inmo.ie