Sligo General Hospital in Ireland is facing an all-out strike by 230 nurses in an increasingly bitter dispute over staffing levels.
The row centres on the reported refusal by the Health Service Executive to renew the contracts of 19 nurses despite acknowledging significant staff shortages.
The Irish Nurses Organisation says that nursing cover at Sligo General is already dependent on the flexibility and goodwill of nurses working under severe pressure.
Noel Treanor, the union’s industrial relations officer said: ‘Management’s intransigence and arrogance in reducing nursing numbers, combined with their acknowledgement that there are clear and substantial deficits, show how little is their regard for their employees and, more importantly, the patients.
‘This action is not being undertaken with a light heart but is the only road available at this stage in pursuit of safe staffing levels in order to provide safe care in Sligo General Hospital.’
He has called for urgent talks at the highest level in a bid to find an eleventh-hour solution that would prevent the threatened strike.