Press Release

More Public Health Nurses – improved public health

The Minister for Health and Children, Micheál Martin T.D. today (7 July 2000) announced a £1 million package for Public Health Nurses.

From the next academic year, all students studying for the Higher Diploma in Public Health Nursing in both University College Cork and University College Dublin will be paid a salary while studying and will have their fees refunded. This is in return for a commitment on the part of Student PHNs to work as Public Health Nurses for at least two years with the sponsoring health board.

Special arrangements have also been made for Student PHNs who are currently on clinical placement and for those who successfully completed the Higher Diploma in 1999.

This initiative costing over £1 million this year provides a major boost for Public Health Nursing grades.

Minister Martin said “I am happy to announce this provision today, not only as part of our commitments under the Priority Action Plan but also as a reflection of my belief in the importance of Public Health Nursing.” Announcing that he will be issuing a revised strategy statement on Public Heath Nursing in the coming months, the Minister added “Public Health Nurses are invaluable in the front-line delivery of care in the community and I am committed to increasing the numbers of PHNs to ensure the continued development of Community Health services.”

The Minister concluded “The Government is committed to radically improving Community Health services. With the recent NDP announcement of £1 Billion for community health care, in addition to today’s announcement for Public Health Nurses, I am confident that we can now provide a Public Health Service worthy of the 21st Century.”