The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has said that affordable housing in large cities and towns is key to retaining nurses and midwives.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“This week’s Daft.ie report into the state of the rental market in Ireland made for grim reading but is a reflection of what many nurses and midwives are experiencing in larger cities and towns.
“The lack of suitable available accommodation and increasing rents is having a hugely negative impact on our ability to retain nurses and midwives not just in Dublin but in other cities and towns where there is significant pressure on the rental market.
“Affordable accommodation in close proximity to healthcare settings should not be a pipe dream for nurses and midwives who work long hours. Immediate provision and supports must be made to allow these essential workers to live within a reasonable distance of their place of work. Provision of housing assistance, subsidisation, and zoned areas in any planning for hospital builds such as the new National Children’s Hospital or the proposed new elective hospital in Cork City.
“Nursing and midwifery managers are now advising that all cities and big towns are affected. The current model of recruiting is not sufficient and is costly and time-consuming and is undermined due to the inability to retain the same essential grades due to lack of available accommodation and extraordinarily high costs of accommodation when sourced.
“As we enter a winter of many unknowns for our health service, where the recruitment and retention of our nursing and midwifery workforce is going to be challenging, the availability of affordable housing is now key. We know in one large Dublin teaching hospital, only 43% of the most recent graduating class are remaining in the hospital, with the lack of affordable housing being a major factor in nurses not choosing to work in that hospital.
“Nurses and midwives earn modest incomes and if we want to have some hope of ensuring that hospitals in Dublin and other large urban areas such as Cork, Limerick, and Galway have safe staffing levels we must ensure that there are homes that nurses and midwives can afford to live in.”