SIPTU representatives have today (Monday, 17th December) sought Government intervention to address the current backlog in processing work permits for up to 35 nursing staff working in the Mater University Hospital, Dublin. Due to these delays existing nursing staff, some of whom have been working for a number of years in the health service, have been told they cannot attend for work over the coming weeks. SIPTU Organiser, John McCamley said: “SIPTU representatives are calling on the Minister for Health, Simon Harris and the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI), Heather Humphreys to intervene in order to expedite the processing of DBEI documentation for non-EU nursing staff working in the Mater hospital. “It is particularly troubling that staff who have come to Ireland to help keep the health service going throughout the Christmas period have been told that they cannot work due to administrative delays.” He added: “During the winter months our health services can be pushed to the brink, so to remove nursing staff from critical areas because of backlogs seems like an unnecessary self-inflicted wound. It is likely that these nurses are not alone and that the delays will cause difficulty to health workers in other grades and employments. SIPTU is seeking that priority is given to clearing this backlog so that reassurance can be given to all affected staff.”