Ireland South MEP and former midwife, Phil Prendergast, has called for the midwife shortage at South Tipperary General Hospital to be addressed.
Speaking after her selection in Cork on Sunday by the Labour Party to contest the elections to the European Parliament, MEP Prendergast expressed her concern with the shortage of six midwives at the hospital as outlined in a report by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
MEP Prendergast, who was on the campaign trail in Cahir, said she was honoured to be selected and that health issues would be among the most important in the campaign.
”While I know first-hand of the high standards in Clonmel I am concerned with the shortage of midwives in the labour ward. The embargo on front line service providers should be lifted as a matter priority,” she said.
According to the INMO report, an extra 550 midwives are needed to meet a safe quality of care across the country. While there were six midwifes short at South Tipperary General, only two other hospitals in the survey had a smaller shortage.
“Immediate action is required by the Government to assist in the recruitment of midwives to solve this crisis with staffing levels at a dangerously low number” said the MEP. At the selection convention, Ms Prendergast, whose director of elections is Minister of State Alan Kelly, reminded delegates that she was encouraged, as a midwife, to start out on a career of representation by Liam Doran of the INMO.
“Twenty three years later having been a union rep, a councillor, mayor, senator and now MEP I am as determined as ever to highlight important issues that need to be addressed”, she said.
“Phil has been an excellent representative for the people of Ireland South. She is someone who has, for three years, fought their corner,” Ireland, and Europe, needs the progressive values of our movement. And the people who will stand up and fight for them. Our candidate for Ireland South, Phil Prendergast, is no stranger to standing up for what she believes in” Labour leader Eamon Gilmore told the convention.