Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East, Anne Rabbitte, says the Minister for Health should intervene in a health care crisis facing Ballinasloe and Portumna Public Health Nursing services which face temporary closure from Friday 15th November due to staff shortages.

Deputy Rabbitte said:

The current policy which has seen strict recruitment criteria implemented upon the HSE has led to significant staff shortages. Patients across Galway are now feeling this first hand as we face a temporary stoppage on public health nursing in some areas.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has issued a stark warning to government today. The service in Ballinasloe and Portumna ordinarily have six nurses but are now facing four vacancies which are not being filled.

Deputy Rabbitte continued:

Patients want to leave hospital to recover in their own homes. This is facilitated by the dedicated work of public health nurses. As well as the medical requirements for oncology or chemotherapy patients, new mothers, and other hospital discharges or health referrals there is the trust and relationships built up over time.

Deputy Rabbitte concluded:

The mismanagement of budgets of major capital projects has seen collateral damage in the form of hiring restrictions within the HSE. The Minister should intervene before public health nursing services cease this Friday.

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