People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith has offered the INMO nurses the full support and solidarity of her party after they took the decision to stage a 24-hour strike on January 30th.
She said: “This is not just about pay, it’s about what kind of health service we want. The crisis in our health system cannot be addressed if we can’t recruit and retain the nurses we need.
“Paschal Donohoe can deny that this is about recruitment and retention, but everyone who has suffered in our public hospital’s know it is about that. We are short over 1000 nurses and our mental health services and general hospitals are in crisis because of this.
“All across the public health service we see the effects of the inability of this Government to keep and train the skilled staff we need to provide a modern health service We won’t end the trolley crisis, the staffing crisis in nursing and mental health sectors unless we deal justly with the nurses and others and pay them a decent rise and reverse fully the cuts implemented during austerity years.
“The Minister may say we can’t afford to pay them, but the reality is we could find the money to pay unsecured junior bondholders, to increase military spending and we are running a budget surplus; we have the money, not the political will.
“It is time the Minister and the Taoiseach wake up to the crisis that they have caused in our public health system. Full support to the nurses.”