Nurses and midwives will mount the largest strike in the history of the health service this morning.
37,000 INMO members will take to the picket line outside hospitals and HSE facilities from 8 am, demanding pay increases and government action on staff shortages.
Outside hospitals from 8 am, nurses and midwives will gather in cold conditions to demand pay increases of around 12 per cent and for the HSE to sort out what they call A recruitment and retention crisis in nursing.
The government says wage hikes for nurses would open the floodgates for others to seek pay claims, and it won’t be doing a special deal.
25,000 medical appointments have been cancelled and the HSE is appealing to people not to attend emergency departments unless absolutely necessary.
Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer with the HSE, says delays in accessing services today are inevitable. Further strikes are planned for next week.
As the Labour Court says it can’t intervene in the dispute, it’s up to the INMO and the HSE to resolve it.