I want to raise the ongoing failure to provide fair pay and allowances for student nurses and midwives. The Minister for Health, Deputy Donnelly, has had the McHugh report into this matter sitting on his desk for three months. We tabled a motion yesterday evening and the Minister's remarks during that debate only extended to extending the pandemic payment for a year and vague references to what he called "other measures". At this stage, it is completely unacceptable. These students put their own welfare and lives on the line to assist others.
Only for them our health service would have ground to a standstill.
The McHugh report needs to be published urgently and there needs to be engagement with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, INMO, and other unions. We also need to see permanent fair pay and allowances for all our student nurses and midwives. Will the Taoiseach commit to the immediate publication of the McHugh report and respect recognition and reward for these incredible young professionals, midwives and nurses?