Childcare support for frontline healthcare workers requires urgent Govt attention – Donnelly

Published on: 31 March 2020

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health, Stephen Donnelly has said the ongoing lack of childcare support for frontline healthcare workers must be dealt with urgently.

Deputy Donnelly said he supported the calls made by the INMO for the Government to provide direct childcare for frontline staff to help relieve the pressure on workers.

Deputy Donnelly continued, “On top of everything else making healthcare workers’ lives stressful right now, they’re also without their usual childcare provisions.

“I have raised this issue several times with the Government and HSE at our briefings and have been told that the situation was being kept under review. Clearly it’s time to turn that into action.

“Many frontline healthcare workers are working much longer hours in the fight to flatten the COVID19 curve. Some of them have even taken the decision to live apart from their families to protect them from exposure.

“Their regular means of childcare, whether that be creches, schools or grandparents have now been cut off. Any free time is filled with making ad hoc arrangements with friends and family members who are stepping in to fill the gap or trying to juggle rotas around – this is totally unsustainable.

“It’s important to remember one of the most worrying aspects of this crisis, that 25% of current COVID-19 cases in Ireland are healthcare staff. They are putting their lives on the line to look after our loved ones – childcare is the least they can get in return,” he concluded.