PROTESTING nurses at Limerick Regional Hospital finally met face-to-face with Minister for Health James Reilly this Wednesday after taking their case to Dublin.
Members of the INMO and SIPTU delivered letters to the Taoiseach, Minister Reilly and HSE boss Cathal Magee outlining the reasons for their industrial action. They have pleaded with Enda Kenny to ensure the HSE engages fully in a resolution to the dispute. Nurses say this must include the report of the special delivery unit of the Department of Health, which the HSE locally had “refused to discuss”.
Deputy Niall Collins maintained the Limerick nurses had “got nowhere” in their meeting with Dr Reilly. Unions maintain patients are at risk from “dangerous overcrowding” in Dooradoyle, aggravated by staff shortages and increased pressure on the hospital following the centralisation of emergency and acute care from Ennis and Nenagh.
Deputy Collins, who was joined by Fianna Fail colleague Willie O’Dea as nurses protested at the gates of Leinster House, said the “nurses concerns resonated with many members of the public who were passing by”.
“They have said that one extra nurse per shift (in the emergency department) would go a long way towards resolving this and that is quite a reasonable request”.
Nurses met with TDs from the Mid-West following their rally but Deputy Collins said Fine Gael and Labour members had failed to show up.