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Kerry County Council Highlights Underpayment of Nurses in Ireland..

Kerry: Kerry County Council has highlighted concerns regarding the inadequate wages received by nurses, attributing the issue to their heavy workload. Citing official documents, the council emphasised the pressing need for improved pay and working conditions for nurses in Ireland.

Following complaints from councillors regarding nurse shortages in the county, the council sought information from the HSE. Upon reviewing the data provided by the HSE, the Council underscored the dire pay situation faced by nurses in Irish hospitals, urging for greater attention to be given to their needs.

In 2023 alone, an expenditure of €20 million is allocated for the recruitment of nurses from abroad, reflecting the severity of the staffing crisis. However, despite these efforts, many nurses are opting to leave the country due to poor pay and working conditions, exacerbating the situation.

Councillors have expressed concern over the morale of nurses and midwives in the Kerry region, stating that it has reached an all-time low. They highlighted the significant burden placed on nurses, who often work extended hours after their shifts to complete paperwork without receiving overtime pay.

The cost of recruiting a nurse from abroad to local hospitals is substantial, amounting to €10,815. Additionally, the HSE informed the council that if a recruited nurse decides not to stay, an additional €800 would be incurred for return shipping.

Councillor Michael Cahill proposed a solution to enhance the attractiveness of Ireland for nurses by advocating for a 10 percent increase in starting salaries for staff nurses earning less than €30,000 annually. Such a measure, he believes, would help address the staffing challenges faced by hospitals in the region while acknowledging the invaluable contributions of nurses to patient care.

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