Press Release

Callely emphasizes government´s commitment to nursing profession

Mr Ivor Callely TD, Minister of State in the Department of Health and Children has today (31 March 2003) strongly defended the government´s commitment to and support of the nursing profession.

“The number of nurses and midwives employed in the public health service has increased by 5,788 since 1998, representing a 19% increase. In addition, over 16,000 new nurses will graduate over the lifetime of the Health Strategy,” said the Minister of State.

“Furthermore, the government has approved a capital building programme totaling €242 million for the construction of facilities to accommodate nursing students at 13 higher Education Institutions throughout the country. This programme is due for completion by September 2004.”

The Minister of State outlined the development of the Strategy for Nursing and Midwifery for the Community. The Strategy will build on the recommendations of the Commission on Nursing (1998) for Community Nursing and will address deficits in the current system. Publication of the new Nursing and Midwifery Bill will take place later this year.

The Minister of State was taking part in the Irish Association of Directors of Nursing and Midwifery Conference: Political Party Policies on Health Policy and Culture: Presentations and Debate.

The Minister of State also drew attention to the fact that the Government is this year investing almost €9.2 billion in health.

“The figures speak for themselves,” concluded the Minister of State. “The health services are receiving an increase of 12% or€970 million on the 2002 estimate. No government in the history of the State has invested so much in the health services. No government in the history of the state has been so supportive of the nursing profession.”