There are concerns over patient care at an Irish hospital after it was confirmed that a number of nurses will not have temporary contracts renewed.
The Irish Nurses Association said proposals to lay off more than 20 nurses, and a significant number of other staff including dieticians, would threaten safety levels at the hospital for patient care.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has confirmed the cuts at the Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore.
It said management at the hospital constantly reviewed temporary contracts, a normal procedure which enabled the facility to stay within its budget.
An HSE spokeswoman said: “These temporary contracts (which include agency staff) that are coming to an end, may not be renewed because the purpose for which the person was employed no longer applies e.g. to cover maternity leave, annual leave, sick leave, career break.
“No permanent jobs have been affected and the hospital is maintaining its agreed staff complement.
“The HSE has set out in its 2008 service plan the number of patients it targets to treat. The HSE expects to fulfil these targets.”
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