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Nurses and midwives should be exempt from HSE recruitment moratorium
press release 07/03/2024

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has called on the Health Service Executive to end the moratorium on recruiting frontline patient-facing staff.


This comes as the HSE have confirmed that emergency department attendances are up 13% compared to the same period in 2023. 452 patients have been admitted to hospital today without a bed.


INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:


“It should come as no surprise to the HSE that attendances were going to rise based on flu and COVID projections that were provided prior to Christmas. Our members are now bearing the brunt of public disappointment and in some cases aggression for the state of the health service while working in extremely challenging environments.


“None of the problems that are currently facing the health service have come out of nowhere. It was clear that the budget allocated to the HSE by Government didn’t take additional demand into account. We have fewer GPs, so for many people going to their local ED is now the first port of call rather than a last resort. The additional pressures on the system by rapid population growth have been well-flagged as well as an ageing population who now have complex co-morbidities.


“The answer to these challenges should not be a moratorium on hiring frontline patient-facing staff. Staff who are leaving because of retirement or for other reasons are not being replaced. This is having an extremely damaging impact on patient safety and staff morale. The very high-risk scenarios now faced by our members, and in their view, the working environment under which they are now forced to work, poses real and present risks to their ability to provide timely and safe care to patients which in turn exposes them to potential regulatory inquiries and unsafe working conditions.


“The HSE recruitment freeze is going to have detrimental outcomes on patient care in the long-term but also on the ability to retain staff into the future. The recruitment moratorium must be reversed urgently.”



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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie