Tuesday 22nd January 2013
The Department of Health has confirmed to IMPACT that it does not intend to roll out the current nursing graduate programme to physiotherapy, occupational therapy or other health professional grades.
IMPACT raised the issue today (Tuesday) at the talks on a possible extension to the Croke Park agreement, after health minister James Reilly’s weekend statement that the nurses’ programme would be rolled out to other health professionals. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has also confirmed to the union that no sanction has been given for such a programme.
Earlier this month IMPACT national secretary Louise O’Donnell raised the issue with the Department of Health after the minister made a similar statement over Christmas. “I was told then that there were no plans for a graduate programme for allied health professionals and the department has confirmed this again today,” she said.
IMPACT understands that management sees no value in such a programme because, unlike in the nursing area, there are no large savings to be made from reducing the use of agency staff in the professions. This is because very few agency staff are used in the non-nursing health professions.