Nurses and midwives welcome extra health spending – but recruitment and retention crisis needs to be tackled
The INMO has welcomed the extra investment in Ireland’s public health service in today’s budget. But the organisation has questioned the inaction on the recruitment and retention crisis in nursing and midwifery.
The HSE has been unable to hire and retain sufficient nurses and midwives to run services, and have been forced to use expensive overseas recruiters and agency staff. Recruitment of overseas staff costs over €10,000 per person hired, and by July, agency nurses and midwives had already cost over €50m in 2018.
The INMO argues that this could be avoided with an across the board pay rise for nurses and midwives, but no provision has been made in this year’s budget.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“With over 500 patients waiting on trolleys today, the health service is unable to cope. Years of underinvestment have taken their toll, so today’s extra funding is welcome and much needed. We will seek to meet with the HSE to ensure that their service plan provides for additional nurses and midwives.
“However, without a resolution to the recruitment and retention crisis, problems in the health service will continue.
“The HSE simply cannot hire enough on these pay levels and the exodus of Ireland’s highly trained nurses and midwives will continue.”