The new president of the Irish Nursing Midwives Organisation (INMO) is driven by a passion to improve the health service for those who work within it and those who are served by it.
Martina Harkin-Kelly from Glenmaquin has recently been appointed as the new INMO president.
Having over three decades of experience as a nurse, a degree in economics and sociology, a Masters in Humanities, completed an ophthalmic nursing diploma and a clinical teaching course, the mother of one has an excellent and educated overview of the Irish health system.
She said: “At the moment there are 606,000 elderly people in this country. By 2046 there will be between 1.7 and 1.8 million people aged over the age of 65 living in this country with no commensurate rise in births.”
Being prepared for this increase and preparing nurses and midwives for the impending changes in this society is something she is acutely aware of. She hopes to see the the recruitment and the retention of nurses and midwives and more courses coming on stream to further their education.
Delegates at the annual delegate conference have called for pay restoration and a 37 hour working week in line with all other professional staff.
Having lived through three recessions and the boom, the mother of one hopes to see the current growth in economy reflected in wages, adding that this will instill confidence in the economy and maintain a happier workforce.
She said that at present nurses cannot to pay their rent and that their wages have, over the years, been dramatically cut by 16 percent.
Mrs Harkin-Kelly comes from a family where everyone of her siblings are also nurses and she grew up always wanting to care and help others like many in her field.