Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane has reiterated his call for the Minister for Health to immediately pay student nurses and midwives.
This follows a Sinn Féin motion which was passed by the Dáil a month ago on January 20th.
Many student nurses and midwives have resumed placements, with more to follow, yet no arrangement is in place for them to be paid.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“The Minister must stop delaying. Student nurses and midwives are returning to work on no pay in an incredibly high-risk environment.
“They have been left with little to no financial support for the last month, with the risk of working extra unpaid weeks during summer holidays instead of paid work to make up for the time lost through no fault of their own.
“Thousands of healthcare workers are on sick leave due to high infection rates, with students filling the gaps.
“This includes fourth year interns who have been on placement this entire time.
“The Minister accepted that student nurses need to be paid for their pandemic work. He has yet to pay them.
“The Minister also accepted the Sinn Féin proposal to pay fourth year interns at the healthcare assistant rate – he has yet to put this in place, either.
“A year on, with the pandemic worse than the first wave, these brave young people are being paid less than during the first wave.
“They also do not have the benefit of an employment contract, meaning no sick pay or supports if they are infected with Covid-19.
“This is an unacceptable and reckless situation and needs to be resolved urgently.”