Following yet another week of health strikes across Fermanagh, union activist Jill Weir, pictured below, has claimed that the pressure being put on health professionals is causing serious long-term damage to the NHS.
With staffing pressures reaching breaking point, and disputes over pay parity, “we are teaching our youth to emigrate” she said.
“Places like Fermanagh are losing out on it’s very own home grown talents, due to the pressures of staff shortages and disputes over pay parity, why would the next generation of health professionals want to stay here?
“Fermanagh people in particular carry such a wealth of expertise, with skills and qualities that you wouldn’t just get anywhere else. It’s a shame that our youth have to go elsewhere when they should be able to stay at home for the same quality of work, and level of pay as their counterparts overseas.”
It would appear that everyone has felt the fatigue of a broken health service, with pressures so severe that some have even contemplated giving up on their dream career.
One local nursing student told the Herald, “it’s extremely discouraging as a future nurse to constantly see patients being denied the healthcare they deserve. It’s difficult working long hours without a finishing time, with days of not even getting a break. I have definitely felt so unsafe at times for both nurses and patients when on placements, and even considered if my degree was worth continuing,” the final year student said.
However, it is not just young nurses who are feeling the strain, as recent figures showed that only 18% of doctors in the North who finish their degree in medicine are choosing to further their training.
Head of SWAH, Dr Ronan O’Hare said; “The year before last the number of doctors who went into further training after finishing med school was 38%. This year, it’s 18%. If you go to Scotland 68% stay on to do further training to become a fully qualified doctor.
“These numbers reflect the health crisis here in the North, the bodies just aren’t there with the commitment of young people wanting to practice as a GP going down.”
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