PICTURE: PAT MOORE
With Irish nurses and midwives planning to strike later in month as a pay dispute with the Government rumbles on, iReach has conducted a nationally representative survey of 1001 people to understand what people in Ireland make of the situation.
The findings demonstrate the great level of sympathy the public have for nurses and midwives, as well the widespread feeling that the Irish Government could do more to make their working conditions more favourable and attractive.
The results also indicate that support and sympathy for nurses and midwives is significantly higher among women rather men in Ireland.
64% of respondents support the nursing strike, though interestingly, support is far higher among females at 71% than it is with males, at just 56%. Additionally, 27% of males oppose the strike whereas only 11% of females disagree with the planned action.
65% of the overall population believe that is unfair that nurses are paid less in comparison to their healthcare counterparts, such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists. Yet, once again there is a discrepancy in the level of sympathy for nurses and midwives between males and females. 71% of females felt that the pay conditions of nurses are unfair with the figure for males substantially lower again at 59%.
On the question of whether the Government could do more to recruit and retain nurses and midwives in Ireland, a rather emphatic 87% of those asked believed that more could be done. It is notable again that female respondents (90%) are more demanding than males (83%) in looking for action from the Irish Government.