Plea over rise in the cost of nursing body registration
The Secretary of State for Health has been asked to bail out a health regulator after it increased membership fees by 53% in the last three years.
South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said the decision to raise the cost of registration fees for members of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to £120 a year had left to deep disappointment.
In order to practise, all nurses and midwives must pay this obligatory registration fee.
"They have no choice in this matter, but pay this as without it they simply cannot practise and will become unemployed," the SDLP MP said.
"This is happening at the same time as NHS nurses and midwives are experiencing continued pay restraint that has seen the value of their pay cut by between eight to 10% since 2010."
Ms Ritchie said she has made representations to Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt urging him to intervene by providing a bail-out to the NMC.
She has also asked him to defer and reconsider the requirements for regulators to pay a fee to the Professional Standards Authority.