Deputy Robert Troy has criticised the Government for failing to deliver on a commitment to recruit 35 nurses at the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar. The Longford – Westmeath TD has received information that shows the staffing commitment has not been delivered by the HSE to date.
Deputy Troy commented, “In recent months the Government has come under enormous pressure to resolve the staffing crisis at the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar. I have been working with representative groups to highlight the issue, and I welcomed the initial commitment made by the HSE earlier this year to recruit at least 90 additional nurses and midwives at the hospital.
“However my concerns were further heightened last April when the HSE rowed back on its original commitment by announcing that just 35 new posts would be created. Unfortunately it seems the HSE has also failed to deliver on this watered down pledge. When I raised the matter in the Dáil with Minister for Health Leo Varadkar he confirmed to me that only 26 additional staff have been employed at the hospital to date.
“I welcome the fact that some additional staff have taken up work in Mullingar, but the full commitment is yet to be delivered on. Existing staff at the hospital have highlighted time and time again that more nurses and midwives are needed to ensure the hospital can deliver the highest standard of care possible for its patients.
Deputy Troy also raised concern about the process being used by the HSE to transfer staff between hospitals.
“Under current arrangements, any nurse or midwife already employed by the HSE requires new Garda clearance to allow them transfer between hospitals. This is a perfect example of bureaucratic red tape within the HSE. This unnecessary requirement is slowing down the recruitment of much needed nurses and midwives at hospitals across the country.
“The HSE is also encountering serious difficulties in attracting new applicants to take up employment as nurses and midwives in our health service. This is no surprise when you consider the manner in which the Government has treated graduate medical students in recent years. Starting wages have been slashed and working conditions undermined. The result is a lack of qualified nurses and midwives who are interested in taking up employment in areas such as Mullingar” said Deputy Troy.