Student nurses have strongly criticised a new report which recommended they get a €100 per week during hospital placements.
A grant of €100 per week has been recommended for Ireland’s 4,500 student nurses working during the pandemic. The payment would last until the pandemic ends and would cost an estimated €5.4million a year.
At present, most student nurses and midwives get either no pay or an allowance of €50.79 per week for travel and accommodation. If the new grant is implemented, students would retain an entitlement to existing placement allowances.
The new report, commissioned by the Department of Health and carried out by Professor Tom Collins, has been criticised as ‘obsolete’ by nursing and midwifery students, according to the INMO.
Student representatives said that the report does not reflect the high-COVID risk Irish hospitals now pose, nor the work they will be asked to do in the coming weeks and months.
“The report does not address any issues for final year interns and proposes a €100 per week temporary grant for those students on placement,” the INMO said.
The INMO have sought an urgent meeting with the Minister for Health to discuss the current reality faced by nursing and midwifery students and how it can best be dealt with.
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said: “Student nurses and midwives have been doing incredible work on the frontline. They engaged in this process in good faith and are deeply disappointed in this report.
“The COVID situation has deteriorated rapidly. This report is already obsolete and no longer reflects the risk or work that students will be taking on in the coming weeks.
“It’s time for the Minister to do the right thing. He should pay students the healthcare assistant rate of pay – something which was done earlier in the pandemic.
“This would better reflect the work and risks students are undertaking in COVID-intensive hospitals.”