May 14, 2024
The message from healthcare workers is clear: the dangerous recruitment embargo must go – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has again called on the government to lift the dangerous health service recruitment embargo which is putting patients at risk.

Teachta Cullinane made the remarks following meetings with the Irish Medical Organisation and Fórsa, and ahead of further meetings with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and SIPTU tomorrow.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“The message from healthcare workers is clear: the dangerous recruitment embargo must go.

“Healthcare workers are going above and beyond to cope in a hazardous working environment in severely overcrowded and understaffed hospitals. I met with the Irish Medical Organisation and Fórsa today who recounted the experience of workers who are impacted by the recruitment embargo. I will hear from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and SIPTU tomorrow. Many healthcare workers themselves, home and abroad, have contacted me to express their frustration.

“The recruitment embargo not only means that new posts cannot be filled, but that many existing posts cannot be replaced when workers leave. This is leaving serious gaps in rotas without sufficient staff to cover maternity leave, vacant posts, and sick leave.

“More than 80% of junior Doctors report working more than 48 hours in a week, and two-thirds report working more than 10 days in a row. This is not only illegal, but extremely dangerous. Patients and clinicians are put into a overcrowded environment that made more risky by long waits, fatigue, and burnout.

“Clinicians know that if they do not turn up for these shifts, that risks are increased, and this is causing moral injury where clinicians feel they will be at fault if they don’t work extreme hours to keep a dysfunctional system running.

“The recruitment embargo and difficult working conditions are sending a message to graduates that they should leave and causing those abroad not to come home. The recruitment embargo must be ended.”

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