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INMO: no new Government proposals

Wednesday, 6th February, 2019 4:54pm

The INMO says it is engaged in contingency planning with the HSE ahead of next week’s strikes, with a possible escalation of affected services.

The nurses’ union said on Wednesday that the Government had “disappointingly” offered no new proposals to resolve the dispute after the two sides failed to agree to fresh talks this week.

Nurses are undertaking their third day of strike today (Thursday) from 8am to 4pm, with major disruption to hospitals around the country.

It follows two days of action on Tuesday and last week, with multiple services cancelled nationwide.

Up to 50,000 appointments were cancelled on Tuesday, with services due to be affected today in CUH, CUMH, South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, Bantry General Hospital, Mallow General Hospital and MUH.

All out-patient, inpatient and day surgery appointments were cancelled and injury units closed. Routine community nursing, health centre and primary care centre nurse clinics, many public day centres and all day hospitals services were all also closed on Thursday, and all planned respite and rehabilitation admissions were cancelled.

Hospital management were advising the public to only attend emergency services on Thursday if absolutely essential.

The nurses’ dispute centres on pay increases demanded by the union, which claims pay increases amounting up to 12 per cent are needed to resolve persistent recruitment and retention issues in the nursing industry and bring nurses’ pay into line with other public sector workers.

An INMO spokesperson said the Government had “disappointingly” offered no new proposals to resolve the dispute, with the union having earlier this week rejected what it called a “cynical” Government attempt to go back to the negotiating table to discuss staffing levels but not pay.

The union said no decision had been made on further escalation of activity next week, but that it was engaged in “multiple meetings” daily with the HSE on the matter.

Meanwhile, GPs staged a protest outside the Dáil on Wednesday in an effort to resolve their dispute over funding for doctors. Hundreds turned out in Dublin to protest what the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) says is a lack of funding by the State to GPs, which it claims has led to a recruitment crisis and a lack of available doctors.

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