Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, is radically underestimating the resolve of striking nurses following his refusal to countenance any moves toward introducing full parity of pay for striking members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Executive of the INMO confirmed that there will be two additional strike days added to the one taking place today; on the 19th and 21st of February. The Executive have also said that they are in the process of organising a national rally on Saturday 9th of February in Dublin:
“Simon Harris is fighting so many fires and disasters in his department that I am surprised he has not swapped his Ministerial car for a Fire Engine.
He is so completely out of his depth in terms of crisis management that it is almost tragic. The fact remains however that he is personally overseeing two of the greatest threats to the stability of the Irish health service in a generation.
We have the nurses out in freezing weather practically begging the Minister and his government to listen to them; and all he can he come up with is patronising words about how vital they are. In addition to that we have the ongoing scandal that is the National Children’s Hospital debacle and the catastrophic lack of oversight by the Minister’s department.
The nurses and the patients of this country need more than Minister Harris’ strained attempts at sincerity.
They need full respect and action that gives meaningful effect to that respect such as introducing parity of pay in line with other degree level health care professionals,” concluded Deputy McGrath.