Members of the new SIPTU Health Care Sector were addressed by the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, at their first conference in Dublin on Thursday (26th March).
Sector Organiser Marie Butler said that the new sector for health care assistants has been set up in response to the growing demand for representation for this group of ‘hands on’ health workers. She also set out a list of proposals that would lead to the professionalisation of the ‘Health Care Assistant’ across the Irish health service.
“We recognise that Health Care Assistants in hospital, care and community settings are crucial to the future delivery of health services in Ireland and we welcome the Minister’s keen interest in this area. The conference moved our members one step closer on our journey towards full recognition as a group of health professionals,” Butler said.
Speaking at the conference, Varadkar said the role of health care assistant has become increasingly important, as nursing and midwifery has become more specialised. “Health care assistants play an important role in delivering the highest standard of care, under the direction and supervision of Nursing and Midwifery staff. This has helped to improve services to patients, and has allowed us to better utilise the skills of nurses and midwives.”
Ann Marie Tibby, SIPTU Shop Steward and Chairperson of the Health Care Assistants' Committee said: “SIPTU had the vision to invest in education and training for health care assistants and now we are confident to take on the next challenge of winning recognition for the vital role we provide in our hospitals and communities.”