Wednesday 18 September 2019

Better pay may help us keep our homegrown healthcare talent

Delegates voting at the INMO Annual Conference at White’s Hotel in Wexford last month. Photo: Patrick Browne
Delegates voting at the INMO Annual Conference at White’s Hotel in Wexford last month. Photo: Patrick Browne
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) is calling for a special deal for groups such as nurses and doctors in pay talks, in light of continuing shortages of staff numbers in hospitals. This is having a huge impact on patient care, writes Eilish O'Regan (Irish Independent, June 8).

A spokesperson for Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin said that she would like to see a Dublin weighting allowance, which would give nurses in the capital extra allowances to cover the cost of higher rent. Incentives like that, and also better pay and conditions, might attract home again the huge number of talented young nurses and doctors who have emigrated from our shores in recent years.

This shortage of healthcare professionals has created a major problem for our hospitals countrywide, as they grapple with overcrowding and a continuing backlog of patients on ever-increasing waiting lists.

Because of cutbacks, and lower pay and conditions introduced during the years of austerity, many young nurse graduates left our shores to pursue better pay packages abroad. Contrast this with the surge of 9pc in the number of HSE managers appointed in recent times, as the number of public health nurses continues to dwindle.

The only thing that seems to have increased at a faster rate than managers in the health service is the number of patients waiting quietly in line for their all-important treatment. All the while, our young healthcare graduates line up to board the aircraft that take them to foreign lands.

Unfortunately, the losers in this whole scenario are the young, the sick and elderly patients, who are caught as the "piggy in the middle".

Tom Towey

Cloonacool, Co Sligo

Money won't solve services malaise

So Paschal Donohoe (Irish Independent, June 9) treats us to 27 paragraphs explaining why the new public sector pay deal is fair, and good value for us taxpayers.

Mr Donohoe makes not a single mention of issues such as transparency, accountability or value for money.

Has the concept of "quid pro quo" occurred to this, or any, Irish Government?

Quite aside from the issue of pay and pensions, Irish public services appear to vary from poor to abysmal to downright dysfunctional.

So yet again, the solution is simply to throw away more of the taxpayers' money, and ignore the profound malaise in our public services.

Good politics and a good way of ensuring electoral success; but, alas, a very bad way to run a country.

Gerard Kelly

Rathgar, Dublin 6

Make a stand against EU cash fraud

Why did Ireland not join the European Public Prosecutor's Office?

It will investigate, prosecute and bring to justice those who commit criminal offences affecting the EU's financial interests.

Fraud and criminal misapplication of EU money could be ongoing throughout the EU, including in Ireland.

Sixteen countries have signed, but not us. Why?

Martin Sinnott

Foxrock, Dublin 18

We need to tame the digital beast

Congratulations to chairman of the Press Council of Ireland, Sean Donlon, for his article (Irish Independent, June 10) warning us in relation to "digital media", which he says includes "the largest and most influential entities in the world of news business". It is totally unchallenged at the moment, since the ordinary individual has little or no defence to being attacked.

In addition, in contradiction of the right to free speech, they have the ability to exclude all and sundry who do not meet the conditions imposed by their various agendas.

The democracies of the world fail to deal with this situation at their peril.

At the moment, the threats to the rights of ordinary people by these powerful institutions are limitless.

In order to defend the rights of the ordinary citizen against the limitless power of those in control of digital media, they have to be challenged by the institutions of democratically elected governments.

A Leavy

Sutton, Dublin 13

Change of tune on Sinn Féin

What a difference a day makes. Before the British election, Irish political parties wouldn't dream of working with Sinn Féin. Now, our pathetic TDs are begging Sinn Féin members to take their seats in Westminster.

Eve Parnell

Dublin 8

Ugly tangle of Irish-UK politics

W B Yeats, in 'Easter, 1916' wrote the lines: "All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born", and "polite, meaningless words".

Perhaps one could paraphrase after last Thursday's UK election outcome to say: "Three terrible beauties have been 'reborn', in the eternal tangle that is British and Irish politics."

Firstly, the minority government of Theresa May: a return to government of "[im]polite, meaningless words".

Secondly, the yet-again hold of an Irish political party on a British government of the day.

Alas, the DUP does not count a Parnell, let alone a Dillon or Redmond, in its flock.

Thirdly, Sinn Féin, which now imagines it can demand speaking rights in the Dáil, the parliament of the Republic of Ireland, for its abstentionist MPs elected to the Westminster parliament in Northern Ireland constituencies.

It would appear that Sinn Féin has adopted the Fianna Fáil position of being a slightly constitutional party.

Leo Varadkar will, without doubt, receive a baptism of fire in the coming weeks - a fire that hopefully will temper the man's leadership qualities.

Declan Foley

Berwick, Australia

Westminster in disguise

Listening to a debate on RTÉ radio last week in the wake of the UK general election, I was forced to check my facts, because two of the interviewees, Micheál Martin and Mary Lou McDonald, referred to the parliament in "Westminister".

I had, up until now, understood it to be at "Westminster".

Paul Connolly

Co Kildare

Irish Independent

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