Speaking following the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation announcement of dates for 24-hour strike action, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Roscommon Claire Kerrane has said that nurses and midwives have been “forced to undertake this action by the arrogance and ineptitude of this government”.
Nurses plan to strike on the 30th of January and have further strikes planned throughout February.
Ms. Kerrane said: “Strike action by nurses and midwives has been a reality for a number of months now. A strike is the last thing nurses and midwives, or any medical professional, wants to have to undertake, but the nurses and midwives in our health service have been forced to undertake this action due to the ignorance, arrogance, and ineptitude of this government.
“This action has decisive support amongst members of the INMO with 95% of them balloting for strike, and I know from speaking to the people that they have huge support amongst the public”.
Ms. Kerrane, who will run in the next General Election in Roscommon/Galway, said that the government has had nearly eight years to address the nursing recruitment and retention crisis in the health service, but had failed to do so.
She added: “Nurses, midwives, and their unions have continuously sought engagement with the Minister for Health and the Minister for Finance in order to address the core problems of staff shortages and pay in order to avert the escalation to industrial action, but they have been ignored.
“In fact, they have been verbally attacked, threatened, and insulted as they have tried to go about achieving a solution to this crisis which is crippling our health service.
“Nurses and midwives deserve our support and we should support them in their demand for a better health service which treats them as essential skilled workers with dignity and value”.