The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) welcomes changes just announced by the Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar TD which will facilitate the payment of maternity benefit to nurses and midwives working in Ireland who wish to travel home to introduce their new born to their families and friends in their home country during their period of maternity leave.
The International Nurses Section of the INMO has been calling for this change which recognises the very significant contribution of nurses and midwives from overseas to the Irish health system, their commitment to our health services, while at the same time recognising the important family link that they maintain with their country of origin.
The Irish health system relies heavily on nurses and midwives from overseas to deal with the chronic understaffing in our health services. This important measure, which is warmly welcomed, is a significant recognition of the contribution they make, their importance to our health service and the importance to them of working in Ireland in a system which respects their involvement, and their continued links with their home country. This development also removes the burden of financial hardship from our members which arose simply from their wish to travel home to introduce their child to their family and friends.
INMO Director of Regulation and Social Policy, Edward Mathews commented:
“Nurses and midwives from overseas have, for a long time, and indeed continue to make an essential contribution to our health service. This initiative recognises the importance of their contribution, removes the burden of financial hardship arising from travelling to their home country during maternity leave and, is an important development in the context of measures needed to ensure the continued recruitment and retention of nurses and midwives to address ongoing staff shortages. Our members warmly welcome the initiative by Minister Varadkar and commend him for recognising the reality of life for nurses and midwives who commit themselves to our health service and our population, while, at the same time, maintaining commitments to their family and friends further afield.