NURSES plan more strikes to highlight the horrendous conditions in hospital emergency departments.
Health Minister Dr James Reilly attacked the nurses for their work stoppages but elsewhere the nurses were commended for their action.
A four-hour strike yesterday at Limerick's Mid-Western Regional Hospital is to be followed by a similar stoppage there next Tuesday.
Siptu leader Paul Bell said nurses in other hospitals were under severe pressure and he refused to rule out industrial action elsewhere.
"The health service is in a state of emergency nationally and I wouldn't be surprised if this type of action spreads to other hospitals," Mr Bell said.
Dr Reilly described the Limerick nurses action as "unsafe, unsound and unwarranted". He told the Dail that as a doctor and a minister he failed to see how patient safety was improved by taking industrial action.