The Government vowed to increase the maximum penalty for assaulting healthcare staff.
The INMO has revealed that over 800 nurses and midwives were assaulted in the first three months of 2023.
Following the concerning figures, the Government vowed to increase the maximum penalty for assaulting nurses, midwives, and other frontline workers.
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said a zero-tolerance approach is needed, but this is not the case.
“With over ten nurses enduring some kind of physical, verbal or sexual assault in their workplace every day, the announcement by Minister Harris today that enacting legislation to increase the sentence for assaulting frontline workers will increase is a priority is very much welcomed by our union.”
“Nurses and midwives need hospital management to use the powers they have and support staff and make complaints to Gardai.”
However, Phil Ní Sheaghdha also stressed that these measures are not enough. The INMO believes the HSA also needs to play an “enhanced role in tackling assaults”.
“There must be more inspections, and prosecutions of employers who fail to keep staff safe. There must be a dedicated division established within the HSA to deal directly with the health service,” Ní Sheaghdha added.
“Hospitals are not just places of care, they are also workplaces.
Ní Sheaghdha stressed that the largely female workforce needs to know what measures are being put in place to protect them.
“The employer’s remit is to provide a safe workplace. Over ten assaults every day is not acceptable.”