Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has called on the Minister for Health to recognise the key role that specialists in public health medicine have played in tackling the pandemic.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“Public health specialists have played a key role in tackling the pandemic.
“They have worked tirelessly and quietly on the frontline battling outbreaks across the state, and they are at the centre of our outbreak management system.
“Public health departments have been understaffed and under-resourced for decades at this point.
“The important role of public health medicine in maintaining a healthy Ireland had been forgotten until the pandemic struck.
“When Covid-19 reached our shores, public health departments – despite the challenges from a lack of resources – tackled it head on.
“The Minister must recognise the key role they have paid and ensure that not only are consultant posts made available for the profession – as elsewhere – but also ensure that existing qualified candidates are on the appropriate payscale.
“They already perform the job, and it would be unforgivable if frontline workers had to go on strike to get the contracts they should have had all along.
“If Minister Donnelly is committed to fully staffing public health departments and filling vacancies, he must expedite this process and avoid an industrial dispute.”