12 Aug 2022

"Government has demonstrated clear contempt for student nurses and midwives,” says Offaly TD

Tipperary broadband: Deputy Carol Nolan voices concerns over Eir's withdrawal

Deputy Carol Nolan

The decision by Government to oppose the reinstatement of a payment for student nurses and midwives, who are currently on hospital placements was a "miserly and contemptuous gesture" that has generated significant anger, according to one Laois/Offaly TD. 

  Independent TD, Carol Nolan was speaking in the Dáil after the government opposed a Private Members Motion that would have seen the payment, which was in force earlier this year, come back into effect:

“You really have to wonder what planet the government is living on when it feels that it can simply take advantage of the unpaid labour of student nurses and midwives during a national health emergency. What the government has effectively done by opposing the motion is to say, we will give you a clap one week but an economic slap the next week.

"It is entirely inappropriate, and government must reconsider the matter. I have been contacted by constituents who are student nurses and they have told how close they and their friends are to total burnout."

  "They have made it clear to me that they are not entitled to any sick leave from placements and that they must compensate for any time they miss from work at later stages of their academic course work. One student nurse in the constituency told me that she has missed four weeks of her placement this year due to being a close contact of Covid 19. But instead of being to work during the summer she to make up her fees she will now have to return to the hospital where she works unpaid to make up that lost time."

According to Deputy Nolan, all of this is creating a massive financial and emotional burden on student nurses and midwives. "We also have a situation where registered nurses and midwives are being asked to pay the Annual Retention Fee of €100 just to keep their names registered with the nursing board. I have called for that to be immediately waived and for financial supports to be in place to assist those nurses and midwives who simply cannot afford to pay the ARF."

"It all amounts to an attitude of exploitation and contempt and it has to end,” concluded Deputy Nolan.

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