Wednesday 28 June 2017

'Patronising, insulting' - Nurses react angrily to suggestion chocolates should be used as flu vaccine incentive

Liam Doran of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Picture: Tom Burke
Liam Doran of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Picture: Tom Burke

Eilish O'Regan and Amy Molloy

The suggestion that nurses should be offered chocolates and other incentives to have the flu vaccine has been met with outrage by members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

General secretary Liam Doran has described comments made by Dr Kevin Kelleher as "patronising, insulting and condescending".

Liam Doran said it was a perfect example of why Irish nurses and midwives walked away from the Irish health sector.

Mr Doran said that that kind of comment was "absolutely objectionable" and Mr Kelleher should respect nurses' opinions and not treat them like children.

"I would have expected more from Kevin," he told Today with Sean O'Rourke.

He accused Kevin Kelleher of trying to dictate nurses and said he should focus on "more serious" issues.

"They can’t get study leave, they can’t get access to education, they're the kind of things which have to be addressed but you don’t succeed by dismissing people’s professionally held views in a way that compares them to children.

"I do not expect someone in that sort of position to be speaking in such a patronising way because people don’t do what he wants them to do."

Dr Kevin Kelleher, Assistant Director of Health Protection said: "What works is you need to have leadership in the institutions ... and leadership from the nurses themselves.

"Incentives work, ranging from giving them chocolates, chocolates work very well," he told the Oireachtas health committee which was hearing from range of health experts on immunisation.

He added: "Draws for Ipads work very well in improving the uptake."

Dr Kelleher pointed to the need for leadership in health facilities to motivate staff to get the vaccine and there also needs to be "leadership from the nurses themselves."

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