Nurses and midwives are meeting for the INMO’s Annual Delegate Conference today (Wednesday) until Friday 5th May in Sligo.
Delegates will debate over 40 motions on topics including:
The conference will also be addressed by the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, on Friday.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Experts in Care – Now - Recognise and Reward.”
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said:
“It has been an extremely busy and difficult year for our members who have had to deal with the ongoing issues stemming from COVID, hospital overcrowding and now sharp rises in the cost of living.
“COVID exposed and exacerbated many of the long-standing issues that exist within the Irish health service. While hospitals are places of care, for most of our members it is their place of work. It is the duty of the HSE as an employer to ensure that the issues that make the workplace unsafe, namely overcrowding, are tackled. Nurses want and need workplaces that are well ventilated, safe from verbal and physical assaults.
“Nurses are not just feeling the pressure in their workplace. The cost of just getting to work, especially for those that work in the community, is spiralling. As a member of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Public Service Committee, I am calling on Government to begin talks as allowed for under the current public sector pay agreement, Building Momentum, in order to bring some relief to our nursing and midwives.
“In addition to the conference agenda, The INMO is launching a bespoke training course for Ukrainian nurses who are now in Ireland that will help them continue with their profession while here in Ireland. The INMO has developed a program for overseas nurses which seeks to support their introduction to the Irish health service and working within it. We have amended this program and intend to provide it free of charge to nurses who seek refuge in Ireland from Ukraine but who wish to continue working in their profession. The programme spans tools for safe practice, care planning, medication management, nursing documentation, knowledge of the Irish health service, and working as a professional within it. The costs associated with this program will be fully borne by the INMO.
INMO President, Karen McGowan, said:
Our members are gathering in person for the first time in three years, and in that time, they have worked relentlessly to protect that health of the people of our country. They have worked tirelessly, and as we meet; they are working under severe pressure in an overcrowded health service as well as continuing to deal with COVID.
“They are also working in circumstances where they are suffering the effects of inflation and facing real economic difficulties in providing for themselves and their families in the current economic climate. Our members, as frontline workers who spend most of their income in providing day to day essentials for themselves and their families must not be left to ravages of inflation and this will be a major issue at our conference.
“Overall, the expertise of our members has, and will continue, to make an extraordinary contribution to the health and welfare of our society. It is time to recognise and reward that contribution.”
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