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10/07/2015 12:00:00 AM


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Burke, Colm

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Order of Business

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Senator Colm Burke

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I wish to refer to an issue about which I am extremely concerned. I have raised it in the House on a number of previous occasions, including as a Commencement matter. It was not, however, dealt with here but was, rather, responded to by way of a letter. The issue concerns the delay in the registration of nurses. Currently, 2,260 people are awaiting registration with An Bord Altranais. On 16 July Irish Nursing Homes was informed that new mechanisms would be put in place to expedite the registration process. That has not occurred. The applications of more than 1,300 nurses are incomplete and they are unable to make contact with anybody from the Irish Nursing and Midwifery Board regarding the information that remains outstanding. There is no direct line of contact and the level of communication is not adequate. The 16 staff due to be employed have not yet been taken on. There is much talk about job creation. The 2,200 people about whom I am speaking want to work in this country, but the slow process of registration is preventing them from taking up jobs they have been offered. This matter requires urgent attention, particularly in view of the fact that, according to a reply I received yesterday from the HSE and the Department of Health, €304 million was spent on agency staff in hospitals in 2014. Up to 30 September last, €165 million had been spent on agency staff in the current year. This issue must be dealt with. We want people to work in this country, but we are not facilitating them in taking up employment.
While I am dealing with the issue of agency staff, I understand a great deal of money is also paid out in respect of junior doctors.