Fianna Fáil Health spokesperson Billy Kelleher has called on the Health Minister to ensure that money is made available to ensure that a deal agreed with nursing staff in the country’s Emergency Departments is upheld.
The agreement, which was brokered after talks at the Workplace Relations Commission, is designed to prevent strikes in EDs.
Deputy Kelleher commented, “Staff in our Emergency Departments are working in an extremely pressurised environment and are already going above and beyond what should be expected of them. The deal that was agreed provides time off in lieu of the additional hours that they are working, and it should not be reneged on.
“This was a specific financial commitment entered into after the approval of the HSE Service Plan and the publication of the revised Estimates last December. It is unreasonable to expect the HSE, with all the financial pressures it is under, to have to find the resources for a deal sanctioned after it was informed of its allocation under for 2016.
“As we know already, hospitals are operating with a funding shortfall of some €100 million and funding for mental health is being withheld to make up deficits in other areas.
“Minister Varadkar approved the deal. He and the Minister for Public Expenditure must now ensure that it is provided for without diminishing resources in other areas of the health service.”