Nurses and strikes

So, in protest at the overcrowding and calamitously badly organized nature of the health system, the nurses are to go on strike. Sorta. 

Except, they wont. They will not walk out. They will in fact merely stage rolling stoppages, which will not include critical care, to takea hospital off emergency cover and thus not able to take patients through the A&E department. Then they will come back in, reopen, and the next one goes off

This wont put any pressure on the HSE or the government. Successive governments have shown themselves immune to stories of the trolly bound horror de jure. And we have elected and reelected them despite moaning about it.

If, and I am not necessarily advocating this, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization were really to strike, now that would be pressure.  I suspect that if they were to down tools, all of them, from 1800 on a Friday evening, by about 1900 there would be utter and total chaos. Unless it went on a long time lives wouldnt be endangered, as the doctors (including perhaps the two medics in the cabinet) could manage. But in all bar the very short run the system would collapse without nurses.

Not going out is, and to their credit, seen as the responsible professional thing to do. Nurses are not in it to deny health care to patients. But the time may come when they have to decide – do we deny care now to get better care for all in the future? In a country which has about 1/2 the acute hospital beds per capita of comparable income countries, the main pressure on A&E is the lack of ability to move people out of triage into the main system. That is further compounded by the lack of ability to move elderly and other dependent patients out when the acute stage of treatment is over.

Not actually going on strike allows the predominantly male powers that be to dismiss the lassies as vapouring wimmins. They are caught in their own professionalism. And that very professionalism is used against them.  Expect all sorts of creatures to emerge from the right decrying the nurses, decrying them for in effect being the very professionals most of the right wing screechatariate could only aspire to being.


10 thoughts on “Nurses and strikes

  1. Confused Citizen.


    The OECD Health stats tell us the following about Irelands nurse numbers and bed numbers per 1,000 population compared to other OECD countries.

    In the UK they have 8.2 nurses delivering 2.8 beds per 1,000 population.
    In Spain they have 5.2 nurses delivering 3 beds per 1,000 population.
    In Israel they have 4.8 nurses delivering 3.1 beds per 1,000 population.
    In Poland they have 5.5 nurses delivering 6.5 beds per 1,000 population.

    In Ireland you can walk past a 91 year old man on a hospital
    Trolley for 24 hours. Not enough nurses to staff more beds.

    In Ireland” WE “have 12.6 nurses delivering 2.8 beds.

    We are constantly told by Irelands BLOATED plastic lefties that – The answer is of course MORE NURSES.

    This is no country for very sick children that have to rely on charitable donations for their needs or OLD MEN.

  2. Greg Foley

    Nursing is only a small part of it. The real problem in my experience is the lack of medical decision makers. The system relies completely on inexperienced junior doctors who cannot and/or will not make decisions. Many people on trolleys are not waiting for a bed but a medical decision to be made!

  3. Confused Citizen.

    It is Liam Doran and the nurses on our media that tell us they are not able to provide more beds to relieve A&E. The solution is more nurses for more beds we are told. But there has to be a culture problem when you see 91 year olds and very sick people being left on trolleys. Sick people are being used as pawns. Bring back the matrons ( to replace unions)and a culture where the patient comes first. Our nurses should be able to deliver twice the amount of beds than at present. Saturday and Sunday should be treated the very same as any other day in our health care system. Actionless weekends are a complete waste of beds and other resources.
    Tackle the major Absentee problems within nursing.

    If more nurses are not part of the solution then they should simply state this fact along with their recommendations.
    Dont leave sick people on trolleys because of an inability to provide more beds.
    Old people and very sick patients should be shown more respect. They could sleep in a ward bed if they are awaiting medical decisions.

  4. Confused Citizen.

    The nursing unions are telling us that we can have no more beds without lots more nurses.

    More Beds cannot be delivered/ provided/ serviced to relieve our A&E without LOTS MORE NURSES. We have unsafe nurse staffing levels we are told all day today on the radio. No more beds can be provided without LOTS MORE NURSES. Considering that we have the highest ratio of nurses to beds in the OECD then it is clear that our nursing unions are leaving some areas unsafe while other areas bloated with nurse numbers.
    Bad management .
    There is no Big Magic Money Pot Economics that can deliver / provide/ service beds with lots and lots of nurses.
    Our nurses are Brilliant in other countries that have a lot lower nurse to bed ratios.
    It is the SAD union culture in Ireland that puts the health care staff first and 91 year old men and sick people last.
    Our nurses are well able to perform as good as any but they
    are stifiled by bad management and unions. Leaving any sector unprotected is a crime with our high nursing ratios,

  5. mike flannelly

    We have the BEST nurses in the world that excel in any other country.
    We have 12.6 nurses to 2.8 beds per 1,000 population. This is the highest ratio of nurses to beds in the OECD.

    We must have the worst nursing managers and health care unions in the world for patients. Our high ratio of top class nurses are sent firefighting every day chasing their tail. I dont blame our Brilliant nurses for not liking the highly unionised “poor me”- “cant do” -“wont do” culture that they face every day.
    That rotten culture would break the spirit of any proud Irish worker.

    It is the nurses work envoirnment and sick old 91 yr old people left on trolleys that suffer every day from this culture.
    2016 is time for this rotten culture to change.
    There is no justification for ignoring the very poor management of nursing resources.


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