Stronger protections for workers across the health service are urgently required, according to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ (ICTU) executive council.
At its recent meeting, the council and affiliated trade unions heard of the devastating impact that the Covid pandemic and resulting strain on the healthcare system is having on the workforce.
Fórsa, along with other members of the ICTU group of health unions, is calling for increased support and more Health and Safety Authority (HSA) staff to inspect healthcare workplaces in a timely manner.
The head of Fórsa’s Health and Welfare Division, Éamonn Donnelly, said that, with the attention on public health measures and protecting the public, it was imperative that health staff were not left behind.
“Staff in healthcare work in high-risk settings, putting themselves and their families in immediate danger. The larger workforce is now also experiencing the strain and burden of the fourth wave of Coivd-19.
“Many work long hours in vulnerable environments to provide care for those infected with Covid as well as those in need of other health services. Greater supports towards improving the capacity of the health system, and aiding staff by allying their concerns in a timely manner, would ensure that they carry out their roles well.”
The ICTU executive council also called for assurance that workloads would be manageable, and that all available assistance from the private hospital sector was sourced as capacity is exceeded in the public hospital system.
It said all health services and facilities should be considered as one when dealing with this catastrophic pandemic.
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