Sinn Féin TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Pauline Tully called for all TDs to back Sinn Féin’s motion to deliver Covid vaccine boosters for health and social care staff.
The motion will be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday 2nd November and backs healthcare unions’ call for workers to receive their Covid vaccine booster soon.
It also calls on the government to publish and implement a detailed and fully costed timeline for ensuring safe staffing levels. The motion also calls on the government to deliver a fair allowance for student nurses and midwives, as well as publishing and acting on the McHugh Review.
Speaking today, Tully said:
“We need to stop just talking about recognising the contribution of our healthcare workers and start acting to support them now.
“The first step is to protect our healthcare workers by making the Covid-19 booster jab available for health and social care workers without further delay. Then we need to focus on delivering better working conditions for all who work within our health service.
“Sinn Féin will bring a motion to the Dáil on Tuesday calling for this to happen.
“With 3,500 healthcare workers out of work due to Covid-related illness, and thousands more grappling with the medium and long-term effects of the disease, it is essential that health and social care workers receive a booster jab urgently.
“The health service is critically under-staffed and workers are under enormous pressure to keep it running.
“Health and social care workers are on the frontline, and becoming more vulnerable as their protection wanes nearly a year on from initial vaccination.
“The government must stand up for healthcare staff here in Cavan-Monaghan and across the state, and ensure they get the support they need to stay safe and keep patients safe.
“We also need to see a long-term plan put in place to end unsafe staffing levels and ensure that crises like this do not keep reoccurring.
“Budget 2022 abandoned healthcare workers and failed to put in place the necessary funding and capacity to address this. As a result, healthcare workers are facing into an extremely challenging winter without the support they need to do their jobs and treat patients safely.
“Sinn Féin’s motion calls on the government to publish and implement a detailed and fully costed timeline for ensuring safe staffing levels. Staffing levels must be returned to safe levels urgently.
“Sinn Féin’s motion also calls on the government to improve staff pay, so that healthcare workers are paid a fair wage, resulting in better retention of staff and better staffing levels. This includes publishing and acting on the McHugh Review, as well as giving a fair pay allowance to student nurses and midwives.
“I am calling on all TDs to back Sinn Féin’s motion and stand up for health and social care workers in the Dáil on Tuesday. Healthcare staff do extraordinary work to look after all our communities. The very least they deserve is to have the support of the government in being able to work safely and give patients the care they need.”