THE FINAL BABY born at Mount Carmel hospital will be born today as two-thirds of the staff begin their final day at work.
Staff were informed yesterday that about 200 of them will be working their final day today with the remainder of the total workforce expected to remain in place for another week or two.
Emergency assistance will be available while the hospital remains open with elective patients also to be discharged today.
Deliveries have been rescheduled and any patients from now who have not made alternative arrangements will be directed to the Coombe hospital.
SIPTU officials say that a number of other voluntary, maternity and private hospitals around the country have been in contact with HSE to enquire about the possibility of hiring some of Mount Carmel’s staff.
An intranet has also been set up so that hospitals can advertise available posts to Mount Carmel staff.
This move has been welcomed by union officials but SIPTU organiser Kevin Figgis argues that the demand for the staff demonstrates the skills they have.
“What it clearly shows is that it is accepted among the wider health family that there is great skill and expertise among the workers at Mount Carmel.”
Figgis says that the union have argued with the liquidators for the retention of the hospital but that the ”those calls have fallen on deaf is due to legacy debt built up at the hospital”.
A team from the Department of Social Protection has also been provided with a dedicated office in Mount Carmel so staff can apply for benefit payments. A date has not yet been fixed for when the workers will receive the redundancy payments due to them.
SIPTU have requested that this situation be kept in place and every effort made for the statutory redundancy to be paid as soon as possible.