A new study conducted by the HSE has revealed that more than 33,000 nurses were assaulted throughout Ireland over the last seven years.
That's according to the Irish Nurses Midwives Organisation (INMO), who also told The Irish Examiner that 7,737 of these attacks have occurred since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The INMO has said that, over the past seven years, 33,341 assaults were recorded on nurses and 733 assaults on doctors.
It noted that the worst single year was 2019, when there was an average of 15 attacks per day on nursing staff; a total of 5,358.
Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond, who sought the figures from the HSE, has since said that they showed the magnitude of the problem faced by healthcare workers.
The INMO's General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said that any assault on a worker while doing their job is “unacceptable”.
Ms Ní Sheaghdha said: "We need to know what measures are being put in place to protect a largely female workforce."
"The employer’s remit is to provide a safe workplace... this level of reported incidence is completely unacceptable."
She also claimed that in 2020, over 8,667 staff reported physical, verbal and sexual assault in the workplace.
In addition, Ms Ní Sheaghdha compared overcrowded hospitals to pressure cookers, and as a result, frontline staff are being put at risk for conditions that they are ultimately not responsible for.
The INMO made national headlines two weeks ago when it held a protest over working conditions and staff shortages at Mayo University Hospital.
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