Backlog of nurse registration threatens a hospitals crisis
The backlog of nurses who are waiting for registration in order to be allowed work here has escalated to 2,316 - as hospital emergency departments brace themselves for another overcrowding surge.
The queue of nurses who cannot work here because of delays with red tape must be a priority for the emergency task force, which meets today to review the ongoing problem of trolley waits.
Tadhg Daly of Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) said the delays in getting nurses registered with their regulatory authority, the Irish Nursing and Midwifery Board, is creating a crisis for nursing homes - which are key to alleviating emergency department overcrowding this autumn and winter.
"NHI has written to the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar urging him to make the issue of nurse registration the top issue at today's convened meeting of the Minister's emergency department task force," he said.
In July, the regulatory body appeared before the Oireachtas health committee to explain the delays and stated it was "making progress". However, in the two subsequent months the situation has become worse and numbers have escalated, said Mr Daly.
A spokesman for the minister said the task force will meet all of the hospital chief executives today.
They will present their current position on trolleys and also give a progress report on delivery of additional capacity in acute hospitals, along with winter planning.