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Minister Reaches Out to Ireland’s ‘Angels’


Health Minister, Leo Varadkar, has announced a campaign starting next month to persuade Irish nurses to come home to Ireland.  In recent years, many Irish nurses left the country to pursue a career in nursing due to a ban on recruitment.  However, with the ban now lifting, Minister Varadkar is eager to encourage Ireland’s angels to return.  He said “What I would like is a number of initiatives over the next year or so, first of all to retain as much of the graduate class of nurses this year as we possibly can.  Secondly a dedicated programme in four cities in the UK to encourage nurses to come back to Ireland to build their lives and careers here and to help us, rebuild our health services.”

Healthcare recruitment agencies in Britain have started to offer Irish nurses starting salaries from €29,000 to €33,000.  They are also providing them with free; flights home to Ireland yearly, life assurance coverage, meals in work, onsite parking and education to pursue further training.  Additionally, successful applicants will be offered a choice of four different cities to work in and €1000 of a relocation allowance.  These jobs are mainly in the mental health area.  Thousands of Irish nurses had to emigrate in the last few years due to the then ban on recruitment in the public sector.  President of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), Claire Mahon said “There is a difficulty recruiting and retaining our midwives to work with the Irish health system.  We are in a global economy and at this time other countries are placing more value on Irish nurses and midwives than we are.”

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