Fianna Fáil General Election candidate and Dublin North West councillor Paul McAuliffe is calling on the Minister for Health to urgently address the staff shortages in Beaumont Hospital.
As of 19th January 2016, there were 116 nursing and 36 medical (NCHD and consultant) positions vacant in the hospital according to a response from the HSE.
“These shortfalls in staffing numbers can only lead to reductions in patient services and a reduced number of procedures,” said Cllr McAuliffe.
“Those working on the coal face are doing a great job, but they can’t be expected to shoulder the burden of non-existent staff. It’s not fair and it’s not safe.
“This is only going to get worse unless the Government urgently works with the unions to improve the working conditions of staff. A Union of Students of Ireland survey from November 2015 suggested that 93% of nursing students were considering emigrating upon graduation.
“We are losing our best and our brightest to the UK, to Australia or the Middle East. There is no point in investing in Third Level education if we are going to force them out the door when they graduate.
“An RCSI survey of doctors who had emigrated reported that they left for professional not personal reasons. They cited working conditions and flaws in the Irish health system as their main reason for leaving.
“They experienced 36-hour shifts, 80-hour working weeks and spoke of understaffing and exhaustion while working in the Irish health system.
“Doctors, nurses and other hospital staff need better working conditions, more regular hours and more colleagues to ease the burden on them. Our public health system will never achieve what it is meant to achieve as long as our doctors and nurses are over-worked, under-resourced and left wanting for support,” concluded Cllr McAuliffe.