SIPTU Sector Organiser, Kevin Figgis said: “The failure of the Department of Health to be consistent, in the decision to approve pay, across student health professions in nursing, midwifery and medical science, is unacceptable. There are over 50 fourth year student radiographers currently on the front line of our health service in the battle against COVID-19. Many of these student radiographers are replacing existing staff who are out of work due to self-isolation requirements.
“This is no way to treat these students and sends the wrong message to them as they approach their graduation and hopefully retention within the Irish health service workforce. Fourth year student radiographers are currently placed in radiology departments across the country with many departments at breaking point, due to the number of staff on special leave as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.”
SIPTU’s call for equitable treatment for student radiographers is supported by the School of Radiography in University College Dublin and by the Radiography schools in University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin and the Faculty of Radiologists.
He added: “The Department of Health and HSE must recognise the role being undertaken by student radiographers in the fight against COVID-19. SIPTU and the relevant universities are determined to fight for recognition for these students to ensure their effort is not ignored at this critical time for our people and our country. We are calling on the Minister for Health to intervene in the matter and ensure all roadblocks are removed to recognise the effort of this essential group of new health professionals.”