By Dan Walsh
Wexford Sinn Féin Deputy Johnny Mythen speaking in Dail Éireann yesterday (Wednesday) defended the nurses in the current pandemic conditions and demanded that “18 students on placement in Wexford General Hospital and the other 4,000 deserve better.”
“This pandemic is a time of fierce challenges, loss and sadness. We must not, however, let it go down in the annals as a time of unfairness and inequality. I ask the House to imagine how we will be judged by future generations if we do not help the very people who put their lives at risk for our sake and theirs.
“Instead, we turned our backs and refused to help them with a small financial reward and suspended placement. This is what the Government is doing by failing to pay student nurses and midwives. It is entirely unacceptable. The 18 students on placement in Wexford General Hospital and the other 4,000 deserve better.”
Deputy Mythen stated that throughout this pandemic student nurses and midwives have worked hard and tirelessly every day to protect our families and communities from Covid-19 while coping with a healthcare service hampered by years and years of austerity cuts. “These problems are down to chronic underinvestment that began long before this pandemic and illustrate the type of pressured environment in which our student nurses, midwives and radiographers are coping. It is no wonder we have a recruitment and retention crisis and so many of our young nurses and midwives emigrate to Australia, New Zealand and Canada.”
Deputy Mythen noted; “Only this week we have had the death from Covid-19 of a nurse in Co. Wexford. Our thoughts are first and foremost with his wife and young child. We cannot imagine the grief they are going through.
Deputy Mythen urged all Deputies in the House, “including my fellow Deputies from Wexford”, to support the motion.