Western health services would take major hit in nurse registration row – Calleary

downloadFianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary has said frontline health services in the West could be put under enormous strain if the row between nurses and their regulating body is not resolved.  The nursing board has implemented a massive increase in their registration fee which nurses say is unjustified.

Deputy Calleary commented: “Nurses are rightly very annoyed about the 50% increase they’re being asked to pay in their registration fee.  What’s worse is the fact that there is almost no choice.  Nurses working in Mayo General and other hospitals across the country are being told it is illegal for them to practise after January 1st if they haven’t paid the fee.  This needs to be urgently clarified.

“The Nursing and Midwifery Board (NMBI) says its Annual Retention Fee is increasing to €150 so it can support the ‘significant changes in the Fitness to Practise (FTP) area which includes the introduction of a new Preliminary Proceedings Committee and that it needs to upgrade its systems as Continuing Professional Development will also become a mandatory requirement for nurses and midwives.’

“I know many nurses working in our frontline services in Mayo every day and they are very unhappy with what they see as a really unfair increase in this fee.   It is not something they have any control over and they feel this is being used to generate more revenue.  Nurses effectively feel they’re being threatened with their careers.

“The HSE says it will not be in a position to employ nurses and midwives without their certification of registration and the NMBI says nurses have to pay by January 1st.

“There are over 60,000 nurses working in our health services and they should not be unfairly targeted or singled out for fee increases.  Fianna Fáil will be raising this with the Minister for Health, the Nursing and Midwifery Board is accountable to the Oireachtas and I am not convinced of the justification for this level of increase to date.”