Maeve Sheehan: Flight of health staff leaves gaping wound
The blow to hospital services will be brutal as the real numbers retiring early emerge, writes Maeve Sheehan
ENDA Kenny declared last week that he had no intention of letting the exodus of staff from the public sector under his Government's early retirement scheme affect front-line services. He suggested it was all under control and that contingency plans were in place.
Even as the Taoiseach spoke in the Dail, managers at Galway University Hospital were figuring out how to cope with the loss of three theatre nurses who availed of the ill-planned scheme.
The nurses were part of a team who worked with orthopaedic surgeons, treating often elderly patients for joint replacements and other procedures. From last week, the team was down three nurses. Surgery scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled and at least four patients have been told they will have to come back another day.