Nurses shouldn’t have to face cuts

Bray People - - News -

NURSES IN this coun­try could be for­given for feel­ing that they an­gered the gods in a pre­vi­ous ex­is­tence.

Hav­ing long been the foun­da­tions that our pre­car­i­ous health ser­vice has been built on, they are once again at the re­ceiv­ing end of the Gov­ern­ment’s fi­nan­cial blows.

Many of them are con­fused over the lat­est slashes to their salaries, which will see the av­er­age nurse pay­ing in the re­gion of an ex­tra 250 euro a month back to the State. Whether that money will one day be re­turned to their pock­ets is no more a guar­an­tee than Tommy Tier­nan be­ing voted Role Model of the Year at the end of 2009. You can un­der­stand their anger and con­cern.

The INO has had to fight bit­terly and reg­u­larly to en­sure that nurses are paid ac­cord­ingly for the long hours they put in tend­ing to peo­ple who only need, or want, to see them when they are down and out. And then they have to cope with an of­ten ir­ra­tional ex­pectancy that some­how they have a magic wand to cure all ills. Over the past months, im­ages of the Ire­land of the ’80s have been flashed across our tele­vi­sion screens as the work­ers, stu­dents and el­derly take to the streets in protest. The nurses, not un­fa­mil­iar with pick­et­ing, may well be next.

Yes, the Gov­ern­ment needed to do some­thing to drag the coun­try out of its eco­nom­i­cal quag­mire and we all are re­signed to mak­ing some form of sac­ri­fice.

How­ever, with tem­pers al­ready at boil­ing point through­out the HSE be­fore this un­precen­dented global crash, risk­ing nurses fol­low­ing in the shoes of a stand-off ex­em­pli­fied by the work­ers at Water­ford Crys­tal, is not wise. Per­haps it should be left to the doc­tors, alone, to tend to pa­tients for a pe­riod of time, then the true worth of our nurses would shine through. There are plenty of other av­enues that money is un­nec­es­sar­ily be­ing flut­tered down and ar­eas where cuts do not im­pinge di­rectly on a per­son’s liveli­hood should be given fur­ther scru­tiny.

As for the nurses and their pay pack­ets, they should be left alone.

TERRY’S LATE FATE

WATCH­ING the box the other night, one of Lim­er­ick’s wit­ti­est ex­ports ap­peared be­fore the eyes - Terry Wo­gan.

The po­ten­tial list of re­place­ments should Pat Kenny de­cide to re­lin­quish his ‘Late Late’ throne is far from ex­haus­tive and Wo­gan would not be a bad filler of his boots.

He has the on-screen ex­pe­ri­ence from his BBC chat show back in the ‘80s and as for mak­ing guests look and feel comfortable, apart from Parkin­son there may be no one bet­ter.

And just imag­ine, he wouldn’t have to worry about ask­ing Ge­orge Best what his favourite pas­time is this time round...

AH THE SNOW...

IT was worth suf­fer­ing the in­con­ve­niences in­duced by the re­cent weather just to see the kids get their first taste of a hearty snow­fall.

It was a long way from the win­ter of 1982 when trac­tors, broth­ers and sis­ters dis­ap­peared in the five-foot high drifts but at least it was a some­thing to get their teeth into.

Snow­men with dust­bin lids for hats were pop­ping up ev­ery­where and snow­ball wars too. And it was a throw­back to times past to wit­ness kids whizzing down hills on empty coal bags - the word Playsta­tion not men­tioned all day long. Sim­pler times like we used to have, but happy ones just the same.

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