Doherty Expresses Outrage as 330 Fewer Nurses Working in Community Care than back in 2007

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has hit out at the Government over the latest HSE figures which reveal that there are 330 fewer nurses employed across the community care setting throughout the HSE’s CHO Area 1 since 2007.


The data, which was provided to Sinn Féin in response to a Dáil Question, shows that in counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, and Monaghan, there were 1,663 community nurses working in the region last year compared to 1,993 a decade earlier.


Reacting to the figures, Deputy Doherty said:


“These figures which show that the number of nurses working in the community care setting throughout CHO Area 1, which includes Donegal, have been cut dramatically over the last ten years.


“In 2007, there was 1,993 community nurses provided either by the HSE or voluntary agencies who were working in non-acute settings such a community hospitals here in the region.


“By 2013, the number of community nurses was cut to 1,614 here in CHO Area 1 – a reduction of almost 20% in just six years.


“And while the number of community nurses has been increasing since then, we still see that the number of nursing posts remains far below their 2013 peak with the number of nurses employed during both 2016 and 2017 standing at just 1,663 for counties within CHO Area 1.


“This huge reduction in the number of nurses working across the community healthcare setting is very concerning and shows quite clearly the extent of the harsh austerity policies which Fine Gael in Government has presided over - the legacy of which continues to severely impact on services and patients here, despite the recovery.


“It’s little wonder that we have a health service in crisis, yet the evidence from these figures released to Sinn Féin shows that little is being done to reverse the cuts which have been made to staffing levels here over recent years, while all the while patients and service users continue to suffer as a result.”