A shortage of nursing professionals is forcing Irish hospitals to consider moving to overseas providers for long-term care patients.
The Government has admitted it has a shortage of over 10,000 nurses in the country.
There is also a significant shortfall in skilled nursing professionals in England.
But the issue has taken a hit as the Government has been hit with an unprecedented legal challenge by nurses from Northern Ireland who are demanding a £2.4 billion settlement in a case brought by their union.
The Department of Health said the funding would be used for the creation of a new nursing centre in Northern Ireland and the development of a programme to train nursing professionals to work in England and Wales.
It has agreed to fund the scheme.
But Dr Helen O’Reilly, a consultant psychiatrist and co-founder of the Royal College of Nursing in Belfast, said: “The nurses in Northern Irish hospitals are facing a crisis, and the government is failing to take action to address the crisis.”
We need a nurse shortage in Ireland to address our growing nursing shortage, which is one of the reasons the Government should fund this.
“Dr O’ Reilly said there was an urgent need for a nursing workforce to address a growing shortage in the Irish nursing workforce.
Dr O’milly said a shortage in nursing staff was a major concern and it was the government’s responsibility to make sure the workforce is ready to serve the needs of the population.
She said the shortage was not the result of a lack of talent but of a shortage that was the result from a lack on the part of the health service.”
There is no shortage of nurses in Ireland and there is no way to address that.
It is an inherent problem in the way that the system is run,” she said.
Dr Richard O’Neill, president of the British Nursing Federation, said the UK needed more nursing professionals from Northern England.
He said the BNF had written to the Health Minister to raise the issue of the shortage of nurse training in Northern England and had called on the Government to set up a commission to investigate the issue.”
The BNF has been lobbying for the government to increase the number of nurses and has also written to ministers to raise this issue,” he said.”
As a country, we have a shortage and a shortage is an intrinsic problem in our nursing workforce, and it needs to be addressed.