Monday, 5th January 2015
- Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland should put a stay on the increase in the Annual Retention Fee.
- Necessary for NMBI to have meaningful engagement with nurses and midwives.
This year there is an increase of 50% in the Annual Retention Fee; it is going from €100 to €150 and is causing concern to nurses and midwives across the county. Over the course of two years these fees have increased by 80%.
The NMBI was set up as an independent board that sets its own fees and covers its own costs. But these increases are a worrying trend for nurses and midwives. The NMBI should put an immediate stay on the increase in the Annual Retention Fee 2015 as an initial compromise measure to begin the process of restoring the confidence of nurses and midwives in the Board. This should then be followed by meaningful engagement between NMBI, INMO, HSE and Department of Health. A key element of these discussions should be the involvement of a third party to independently assess the cost base of the Board.
The increased fees facing nurses and midwives contrasts with the position of other health professionals. As part of the Haddington Road Agreement registration fees for health professionals brought under the remit of CORU have been frozen. The result of this is that nurses and midwives are the only group facing an increased charge.
I have written to Dr Maura Pidgeon, CEO, of the NMBI, and asked that the Board considers these suggestions. Trust and confidence of nurses and midwives in NMBI has been undermined by these large increases in fees. It is imperative that the cost base is reassessed and the fee structure is reviewed, this process should begin with an immediate freeze of the proposed increase for 2015.