Approximately 40,000 nurses from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) across Ireland are on strike for a second day because of low pay, understaffing and patient safety concerns.
It is thought that 50,000 medical appointments have been canceled today alone, as the second of a series of strikes takes place. The nurses of Ireland are concerned about the future of nursing in Ireland. A staggering amount of nurses have left the country for better working conditions, with many moving abroad straight after graduating as they can earn up to double pay.
More nurses at St Colmcille's, St Finbarr's, Cork, and MRH Tullamore, braving the rain for safe staffing this grey morning!! #standwithnurses #standwithmidwiveshttps://t.co/ua8qW23Ea7 pic.twitter.com/EfAtFg53Rh— Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (@INMO_IRL) February 5, 2019
Patient safety is also a concern for many nurses taking part in the strike. The number of patient to nurse ratio is on the rise and is currently at 8-12 patients for every nurse. Patient safety on the wards is put at risk and nurses say they are under increasing pressure, attending to patients needs. As one nurse put it, "They have to be exceptional at everything they do and they are not being paid exceptionally."
This latest day of action has been met with criticism from the Health Service Executive (HSE) which said it has caused major disruption. It is the second of eight 24-hour strikes planned by nurses, through the month of February, the next being on Thursday 7th, with a three-day strike on the 13th, 14th and 15th.