Registration fees for nurses and midwives - workers who have been at the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic for close to a year - must be waived for 2021.
This is the view of Labour Galway City West councillor, Niall McNelis. His call comes as nurses and midwives began receiving notices to pay registration fees, by February 28, to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, the State regulatory body for nursing and midwifery, in order to be allowed to continue to work in Irish hospitals.
"After everything healthcare workers have done throughout 2020, they now have to pay for the privilege of working in our hospitals in 2021," said Cllr McNelis. "Surely it is not too much to ask that this fee be waived."
Nurses have 'given up much during Covid'
The former mayor pointed out that nurses are "under an unprecedented amount of pressure", and have already "given up so much during Covid", including annual leave and time with families, not to mention "putting themselves at risk", in order to fight against the virus.
Cllr McNelis said the Government was "quick to offer applause and kind words to our frontline heroes", but waiving the feet was an opportunity to recognise the "difficult work" nurses and midwives are doing. “Surely in the coming weeks the Government can waive this payment, for one year only, as an acknowledgement of their work."