PEOPLE in Cork will see appointments, operations, and tests delayed due to the planned nursing and midwifery strike tomorrow, but they should still support the industrial action, a Cork city councillor has said.
Cllr Fiona Ryan of the Solidarity Party attends Cork University Hospital (CUH) twice a year for tests because there is a 50% chance she has a gene that causes breast cancer.
Her appointment, originally scheduled for tomorrow, has been cancelled due to the strike action called by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).
Ms Ryan contacted CUH and was informed that it might be July before she is seen again.
“I still unequivocally support the nurses,” she said.
“People in my situation are being used as a club to beat the nurses with and it’s outrageous.
“How many times have Cork hospitals like CUH had to cancel appointments because of overcrowding?” she asked.
“I’m getting looked after in CUH with two checks a year and I can’t fault the level of care from nurses and consultants.
“The problem fundamentally is the lack of investment, there’s not enough nurses or consultants to get these tests done.
“It’s about pay but it’s also about the future of our health service.”
While Ms Ryan highlighted issues such as overcrowding, hospital waiting lists, and a lack of capacity, she explained that the issue comes down to pay.
“Everyone, across the board with the current housing situation, needs an increase in pay.
“Leo Varadkar comes in with talking about threats, that if they concede to the nurses, they have to concede to everyone else,” said Ms Ryan.
“Yes, they should have to do that because this is about pay restoration for emergency legislation that was brought in many years ago and was meant to be just a temporary measure.
“The measures are continuing to affect people, young people, working in the public sector,” said Ms Ryan.
Solidarity Party representatives are urging members of the public to join the midwives and nurses protesting tomorrow.
The planned 24-hour strike is set to highlight issues around pay and working conditions.
The INMO announced earlier this month its intention to strike after 95% of its nurses and midwives voted in favour of industrial action.
The strike will see the INMO members withdraw their labour for a 24-hour period over issues such as low wages and failure in terms of recruitment and retention by the HSE.
The Solidarity Party is inviting members of the public in Cork to join it in walking to the picket lines tomorrow to show their support for the strike.
Specifically, it is asking people to gather at the Solidarity offices at the bottom of Shandon St at 12.30pm for a walk to the picket lines at Mercy University Hospital.