Three high-level resignations over a lack of progress on Sláintecare health reforms are causing “huge concern” among nurses and midwives, the INMO Executive Council warned today.
The council, made up of representatives of nurses and midwives across Ireland, said that the resignations required a “clear government recommitment at the level of Taoiseach” to the Sláintecare reform package.
They also expressed alarm at increased numbers of patients on trolleys. Yesterday (Monday) saw 464 patients go without beds – the highest since the pandemic began and twice what it was last year. 421 patients were on trolleys this morning.
The union warned that the health service was rapidly returning to the “bad old days of overcrowding” and said it was further reason for the government to prioritise the Sláintecare health reforms.
The INMO will be writing to the Taoiseach calling on him to intervene to secure Sláintecare’s future and is asking the Oireachtas Health Committee to urgently convene on this matter.
INMO President and Beaumont nurse Karen McGowan said:
“The health service is rapidly returning to the bad old days of overcrowding. Trolley figures are being permitted to grow and grow.
“Many of my colleagues across the country are feeling utterly unsupported in their workplace, with no sense that much-needed health service reforms are supported by Government.
“The government need to seriously recommit to Sláintecare. We cannot lose the momentum for health service reform.”
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“The government need to show they mean business on Sláintecare. These three resignations are a huge concern. It’s time for direct intervention from the Taoiseach.
“We also need to see the Oireachtas Health Committee urgently reconvene when the Dáil returns.
“Sláintecare is a good plan – agreed by all parties. The high-level resignations indicate that government is not prioritising reform. After everything we have gone through with COVID, Ireland’s healthcare team and patients deserve commitment to real change.”
Notes to Editors:
Professor Tom Keane (Chair, Sláintecare), Laura Magahy (Executive Director, Sláintecare) and Prof. Geraldine McCarthy (Chair, South/Southwest Hospital Group) have all resigned in recent days, citing a lack of reform in healthcare.