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nurses strike

The healthcare crisis is escalating as the nurses and midwives remain on strike for another day this week.

The impact on tens of thousands of patients is causing chaos, as members of the public are asked not to use out of hours GP services as hundreds of doctors gather for a protest in Dublin.

News has since emerged that a rally will take place this Saturday, allowing members of the public to support the nurses and Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

Over 35,000 nurses and midwives voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action late last year, with their first 24-hour stoppage taking place on January 30 and second strike occurring yesterday.

The Facebook post reads; "Join the nurses' protest, called by the INMO, this Sat 12.30pm Parnell Square Dublin. Leo Varadkar and the Fine Gael led government are refusing to negotiate with the nurses."

It continues, "They are ignoring the huge public support for their legitimate claims. Most of us know that nurses deserve equality of treatment with other professional grades, better pay will help ease the recruitment crisis and that means better patient care in our hospitals."

"Nurses do not want to strike – they would prefer to care for their patients. We can help by turning our sympathy into a major display of solidarity." it concludes, calling on the public to text their numbers to join the rally at the Garden of Remembrance.

Further strike action is expected to take place on February 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, and 21, which is sure to affect a huge amount of patients.

Patients are being asked by the National Association of GP Co-ops to travel to emergency departments, or to wait to see their own GP if any ailment is experienced.

Other disruptions include the cancellation of outpatient appointments, non-urgent surgery, and respite, rehabilitation, and day centre services. An estimated 50,000 patients in the past week were affected.

Another strike is expected tomorrow, with up to 75,000 people likely to be affected. 

As of last night, there appears to be little hope of resolving the pay dispute, with the INMO accusing the Government of “recycling” ideas and calling on them to “come to the table unconditionally”.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar admitted that direct contact should have been made with nursing unions regarding further talks at the Workplace Relations Commission to resolve their dispute, instead of through a press release.

He responded to critique from  Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, who claimed the statement was an "appalling and a pathetic way" to approach the dispute.

Yesterday, the Fine Gael Government issued a statement saying it was willing to engage in talks on issues other than pay to try to overcome the nurses' strike.

General Secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Phil Ni Sheaghdha said the Government had not communicated directly with the unions.

Adult mental health services are also coming under huge strain today and tomorrow due to a ban on overtime, including night rosters, as members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) engage in industrial action. 

Doctors will join the disagreement by heading to the Dáil to protest at conditions and pay cuts, which was organised by the National Association of General Practitioners.

Other aspects of the healthcare crisis involve a lack of beds, and the disastrous cost of the new National Paediatric Hospital, which sum now stands at €1.7 billion.

Feature image: Extra.ie



A second 24-hour strike by 37,000 nurses and midwives will take place today, February 5.

They have taken to the picket line to fight for pay parity with other healthcare professionals.

The number of services on strike has increased from 82 to 240, meaning up to 50,000 people will be affected by today’s strike.

The public has been warned to stay away from emergency departments while the strike is ongoing.

It is understood that all outpatient appointments, routine community nursing activities and surgeries have been cancelled.

Centres for old people that are run by nurses have also been closed. As have local injury units.


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Health Minister Simon Harris and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe called for urgent talks that would focus on a ‘safe staffing framework’ rather than pay.

The offer to discuss this was declined by Phil Ní Sheaghdha, who is the general secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

The nurses are striking for the pay increase they deserve. They have called for a 12 percent pay increase, however, the Government is reluctant to agree to this request as they believe it will cause other public service unions to call for the same.

Good luck to all of those striking today.

Feature Image: INMO



Today, the nurses and midwives of Ireland have taken to the picket lines to fight for pay parity with other healthcare professionals.

37,000 members of the INMO stood proudly outside hospitals and HSE facilities from 8 am to show the Government that they’ve been mistreated for far too long.

As I drove past St. James’s Hospital on my bus this morning I was overcome with a sense of both pride and emotion when I spotted the crowds of nurses at the picket line.

The Government may fail to see their value, but any person who has had a loved one or has been in the hospital themselves knows, the nurses are the true heroes.

They may not be the ones who perform life-saving operations, but they are the ones who offer love, care and humanity in a place that can be so unbearably isolating and intimidating.

They reassured my family with kind smiles when my Mam was admitted to the intensive care unit.

They popped into the family room at the end of their shifts to make sure we had something to eat and drink between hours and hours of anxious waiting.

They not only treated my Mam like a patient but most importantly a person. They joked with her about the doctors who had poor bedside manner, they comforted her on nerve-wracking trips to CT scans and never once let her feel lonely when she spent weeks away from her own bed, her home and her family.

They always ensured to be chirpy and optimistic when chatting to us about Mam and her treatments, ailments and fears.

They were the ones who rushed to her aid in the middle of the night. The ones who made her laugh when she was upset about having to stay another day and another and another.

They were the ones who reassured me and my sisters that this was only temporary and that one day Mam would be back home, listening to Sunshine 106.8 and complaining about the heating being turned off.

They gave us hope during the darkest times.

They offered support during the harrowing moments.

They were the heroes we desperately neede on the terrifying days.

And that is why I stand with the nurses and midwives of Ireland because they have always stood by both their patients and their family’s sides no matter how over-worked, emotionally drained and exhausted they were.