June 23, 2020
Nurses applauded then abandoned by government – Louise O’Reilly TD

Louise OR' ReillySinn Féin spokesperson on Health Louise O’Reilly has described the evidence given by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and SIPTU around the government’s treatment of workers throughout the Covid-19 crisis as “shocking”.

Dublin Fingal TD O’Reilly believes that the picture painted at this morning’s Oireachtas Covid-19 Committee sitting once again underlined the disdain with which Fine Gael governments have treated frontline workers, many of whom were “abandoned by the state” during this crisis.

Teachta O’Reilly said: “The testimony of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and SIPTU at this morning’s Oireachtas Covid-19 Committee regarding the treatment of nurses by government has made for shocking evidence.

“The representatives from the INMO and SIPTU outlined how their outreaches and correspondence was ignored by several government departments.

“The INMO described how nurses were “applauded and abandoned” by government.

“Due to the failure of the government to make good on their commitments to provide childcare for frontline healthcare workers, some workers had to use annual leave days to care for their children.

“They were totally abandoned by the state in this regard.

“Not only did they feel this was incredibly unfair on their children and their families, but they also felt it left them in a situation where they were letting their colleagues down because they couldn’t join their teams on the frontline due to no childcare being available.

“One of the most shocking aspects of the evidence from the INMO was how in the early days of the crisis, when the government were still dilly-dallying on the advice around masks, one nurse was sent home from her shift and disciplinary action taken against her for wearing a mask to protect herself.

“The shocking evidence today yet again paints a bleak picture of how Fine Gael treat and value our nursing staff.”

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