Europe

Nurses in the Republic of Ireland strike for a third day

Protesting nurses holding placards marching Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Tuesday's strike was the second in a series of strikes in a dispute over pay and staff shortages

More than 37,000 nurses in the Republic of Ireland are taking strike action for a third day in a dispute over pay and staff shortages.

Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation first went on strike on 30 January.

There is no sign of a breakthrough in the escalating dispute.

All outpatient, inpatient and day surgery appointments are cancelled, as are routine community nursing services and health centre nurse clinics.

As on Tuesday, the strike will hit respite and rehabilitation units for the elderly or those with intellectual disability.

Three further consecutive strike days are scheduled for next week.

Image caption Nurses protest outside Letterkenny Hospital

Mental health services are also in the crossfire after the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) escalated its overtime ban to run through the night.

They this highlights the unsustainable dependence on overtime and agency staff.

Image copyright RTE
Image caption Strikers braved the wintry weather in Cavan on the first day of the industrial action

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told Fine Gael TDs and Senators in Dublin on Wednesday night that efforts will be made over the coming days to find a mechanism to resolve the nurses' strike.

He told a parliamentary party meeting, however, that a resolution could not expose the taxpayers or be unfair to other public servants, Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported.

Mr Varadkar said there has been a lot of engagement on the dispute and this would continue.

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