Time to give nurses more than our applause, says van der Spek

FEE Labour rep suggests waiving looming registration fee for nurses and midwives

A local Labour representative has called for the registration fee for nurses and midwives to be waived for 2021.

Liam van der Spek said it was time to do something more than applaud and waiving the fees would be a "small gesture of appreciation" for the work they have undertaken in fighting Covid-19. The registration fee is €100 per nurse, so Liam anticipates the move wouldn't excessively burden the public purse.

“Our local nurses in Cavan General Hospital have been working so hard during this pandemic, and every day are playing their part at the frontline," said Liam.

“Healthcare workers everywhere deserve our support, and there are things we can do to help them – by staying at home and following public health guidance, ensuring they get vaccinated as quickly as possible, and providing fast track citizenship for those who want it. Something that would make an immediate difference though is the registration fee.

“Nurses and midwives have been under an unprecedented amount of pressure since January 2020, from record overcrowding in our hospitals in the early parts of 2020, through to grappling with all Covid related challenges since March last year.

“Now as nurses and midwives work through what will be the most challenging period we have seen through this pandemic, they are receiving notices to pay a registration fee in order to be allowed to continue to work in our hospitals by February 28."

He said Labour had been contacted by nurses and midwives since late December about waiving the NMBI registration fee, and the party have asked the Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to examine this issue.

"After everything healthcare workers and front-line heroes have done throughout 2020, they now have to pay for the privilege of working in our hospitals in 2021. Surely it is not too much to ask that this fee be waived?"

He concluded: “The Government are quick to offer applause and kind words to our frontline heroes, but they now have an opportunity to recognise the difficult work they are doing and waive the registration fee.”