Saturday 10 December 2016

'Annihilated' nurses are out on their feet

Published 07/10/2016 | 02:30

The health system is manifestly broken. Cuts down to the bone could never be healed with sticking-plaster solutions (Stock picture)
The health system is manifestly broken. Cuts down to the bone could never be healed with sticking-plaster solutions (Stock picture)

Exhausted, burnt out and undervalued was how the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation described the bulk of its members yesterday. They will now ballot on industrial action if demands for increased staffing levels are not met.

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Surely this should not be necessary; nurses ought not be required to walk off the job of caring for the sick in order to get the resources and staff required to treat the ill. The organisation believes the profession of nursing is being "annihilated". No sane minister or government would set out to degrade the conditions of nurses to such an extent that they are out on their feet, but this is the reality.

Years of under-investment, poor planning, over-work and lack of resources have had a devastating impact. Liam Doran, the organisation's chief, said that his membership was worn out "papering over the cracks".

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