The Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise is down 35 staff since 2009, due to the Government’s ban of hiring replacement staff for those who have left or retired.
Fianna Fáil Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald is particularly concerned with the effect the shortage is having on the maternity wing.
“This is a worrying figure, especially in the maternity wards. The number of babies is increasing every year,” she said.
County councillors have agreed to write to the government and the Minister for Health James Reilly to ask him to lift the moratorium for frontline staff in the hospitals, following a motion raised by Cllr Kathleen O’Brien at their monthly meeting last Monday, May 28.
“Our trained doctors and nurses are being snapped up abroad. There is a shortage of nurses in our hospitals. I am calling on the government and the minister to lift the moratorium just for doctors and nurses,” Cllr O’Brien said.