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FF Health spokesperson out of touch on healthcare staff pay

11 July 2018

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Spokesperson on Health

Reacting to out of touch comments made by the Fianna Fáil Health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly today, on the pay of nurses and doctors, Labour’s Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has said that Fianna Fáil’s attitude to healthcare workers was shown up at today’s heath committee. 

Deputy Kelly said:

“It is clear that Deputy Donnelly has not been paying attention to the severe staffing crisis going on in our hospitals and is out of touch with the reality of what is happening at the frontline. At today’s Health Committee, the Fianna Fáil Health spokesperson said “Irish nurses are very well paid as new entrants.”

“If new entrants to the nursing profession are so well paid, why are young graduates leaving the country in their droves to seek out better opportunities elsewhere? 71% of this years final year Nursing students are considering leaving Ireland.

“We know from research by the INMO that 79% of final year Nursing students believe that increases in pay and improvements in staffing and working conditions as the required incentives to retain nurses and midwives in the public services.

“It is clear Deputy Donnelly is at odds with his own party colleagues who have said they want to end pay inequality for teachers, and that they wanted to put public sector pay equality at the heart of their 2019 budget proposals despite being the party that introduced the two tier system.

“Does Deputy Donnelly think ending the two-tier pay system is only welcome for teaching staff, and that our often over-worked nurses don’t deserve to see a restoration in pay?

“Deputy Donnelly came down to the Health Committee today full of management consultant speak about doctors’ and nurses’ pay without taking in the reality of what it is like for doctors and nurses in our hospitals.”