| 3.6°C Dublin

HSE slave labour

Sir -- As a nurse manager, and one who is appalled to see how the Government couldn't resist one more attack on the nursing profession -- the phasing out of intern nurse salaries -- Florence Hogan's article is very sad, albeit not surprising.

It is difficult to understand how any nurse could possibly agree to allow an intern nurse work days, weekends and nights, make critical decisions regarding patient care, in many cases be the difference in a patient's speedy recovery, and expect them to do this for free.

Ms Hogan clearly has a problem with the nurses' union, and even though she got the true facts regarding the abolition of intern nurses pay from this union, she had to use her 'cynical sieve' to process this information.

I remember Ms Hogan penning articles in 2007 criticising nurses for trying to achieve a fair wage and working week, but I'm sure following the dispute that year, Ms Hogan grabbed her four per cent pay rise and shorter working week without having to run it through her sieve.

It has been very encouraging to hear members of the public express their disgust at this proposal to introduce slave labour into the health service. It is clear what the long-term plan of the HSE is regarding our nurse interns -- free labour, minimal supervision, and if this goes unchallenged, the eventual end of nurse training in Ireland.

It's a pity Ms Hogan can't see this -- thankfully the majority of us can, and we will resist.

Joe Hoolan,

Castlecomer, Kilkenny

Sunday Independent