asked the Minister for Health whether he is aware that a grave shortage of nursing staffs is experienced by general hospitals; and that a contributory factor in the staff shortage is the unsatisfactory wage rate; and whether his Department propose to have consultations with the nursing organisations with a view to improving the wage rate.
Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - General Hospital Nurses.
There is no general shortage of nursing staffs. Recruitment difficulties have been experienced in a few local health authority areas, and special remedial measures have been taken.
The remuneration of nurses employed by local health authorities is determined under an agreed scheme of conciliation and arbitration. As I informed the House in reply to a Parliamentary question on 11th instant, a claim for increased remuneration, submitted on behalf of various grades of nurses, was heard recently by an arbitrator appointed under the scheme and he has made certain recommendations. If and when the nurses, and the employing health authorities, indicate their acceptance of the arbitration findings, I shall be happy to consider proposals for implementation of the increases.
There is no danger the Minister might consider, in view of the action of some of his colleagues, that the recommendation should not be implemented immediately?
Arbitration will not come within the terms of reference of the reviewing body.
Therefore, the Minister would sanction whatever the recommenation is?