Fianna Fáil TD for Waterford, Mary Butler has said that the overcrowding crisis in hospitals is being exacerbated by tardy administrative processes in the registration of nurses.

“This morning, a nurse who has moved home to Ireland after studying in the UK told me that she has been waiting nearly two months for her An Bord Altranais registration to be approved.

“The nurse in question was offered a role in the Emergency Department at University Hospital Waterford last December but has been unable to take up the position as she is still waiting for her nursing registration.

“We are currently in one of the biggest overcrowding crisis to hit the Irish health system in recent years, yet nurses aren’t being allowed to get to work because of bureaucratic delays,” added Butler.

“This is only one such example of a nurse being stopped from working. The real questions is how many nurses are ready, and willing to work, but cannot because of bureaucratic and administrative delays.

“The Minister for Health, Simon Harris needs to direct An Bord Altranais to allocate additional resources to ensure that any backlogs are cleared.

“According to An Bord Altranais, the average wait for a nursing registration to be approved is up to 90 days. This is simply too long.

“Last October, 10 beds were closed in UHW because there weren’t enough nurses. We need more nurses in our EDs and on our wards treating patients and ensuring that they get the best possible care.

“Too many of our health professionals, who are very difficult, to recruit, are being stymied by bureaucratic delays. This cannot be allowed to continue,” concluded Butler.