Midwives at the University Maternity Hospital in Limerick have voted in favour of a work-to-rule action, which is due to commence at the end of this month.
Under-staffing at Limerick’s fifth busiest maternity hospital saw 97.5% of midwives vote for industrial action in the recent ballot.
From Friday, November 27th, Midwives will refrain from all administration roles and only carry out duties related to the caring of pregnant women, mothers and babies.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) stated that the HSE has failed to address the significant clinical midwifery deficits at University Maternity Hospital Limerick.
“This has resulted in an unacceptable midwife to birth ratio at the present time of 1 midwife to 44 births,” stated the INMO.
“This is in excess of the international midwifery standard of one midwife to 29.5 births and is obviously a cause of concern to frontline midwives. The INMO is calling for the immediate recruitment of midwives to ensure safe standards are reinstated at the hospital.”
112 Midwives work at the University Maternity Hospital, who deliver over 5,000 babies annually.
The HSE has offered 10 additional Midwives which still leaves a ratio of 1:41, higher than that of the international midwifery standard.
13 midwifery graduates, from the class of 2015, have recently been offered contracts and they hope to see them take up appointment in the coming weeks.
“It is regrettable that the HSE has failed to address the clinical midwifery deficits raised by the INMO as far back as January 2015,” said Mary Fogarty, INMO industrial relations officer.
The INMO stated it has notified the HSE of its availability to attend further discussions.
This action is independent of the ballot conducted by the Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation of nurses in emergency departments, which will begin on November 9.