Minister hints at 'credits for nurses' in effort to attract more to Ireland

The Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe has hinted that a deal could be reached in the near future to attract more nurses into the Irish health system.

Mr Donohoe says he is hopeful that an agreement with the INMO could be reached to make sure nursing jobs do not go unfulfilled.

Yesterday's Budget announcements included 1,000 new nursing roles, but concerns have been raised about whether they can be filled, with starting salaries of €23,000.

Last night the Minister for Public Expenditure suggested a deal could be reached to improve conditions for those workers.

Mr Donohoe said: "The INMO and Mr Doran have been raising issues in relation to credits for nurses, in particular between 2011 and 2015.

"This is a matter that Minister Harris and I have been engaging and are working on together.

"And we look to see if we can make progress on that in the near future."

Michael Noonan and Paschal Donohoe answering Budget questions last night. Pic: Collins

It comes as nursing unions continue a campaign to secure better working conditions for new recruits.

Minister Donohoe says there should not be any problem in getting new workers to fill the roles.

He said: "I'm absolutely confident that we will be able to hire and fill the different posts that we have advertised for.

"In relation to An Garda Síochána, I understand that in recent recruiting rounds we have had no difficulty filling the posts that they have needed to fill."

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