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Covid-19: INMO raises concerns over Covid outbreak in hospitals

The Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (INMO) raised concerns at the increase in Covid cases in Ireland’s hospitals. Concerns have been raised over the confirmation of the virus in three patients and two staff members at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin yesterday.

Tony Fitzpatrick, the Director of Industrial Relations at the INMO, has been told that the re-emergence of the virus in hospitals is “extremely worrying”.

He said the outbreak of the virus at a hospital would have an equitable impact on frontline workers there, and at the beginning of the pandemic many had confirmed being infected with the virus.

The virus is now more prevalent than ever before, Fitzpatrick is concerned that the virus may continue to be confirmed in many other frontline workers.

In addition, it may adversely affect treatment for non-covid diseases if doctors and nurses confirm the virus.

Fitzpatrick pointed out that strong action is needed from the HSE to tackle the health care system and that no such plan had been seen so far.

“We’ll need a proper, funded plan from the HSE setting out how many extra staff will be hired and how much extra bed capacity will be added.”  

Health experts have predicted that the number of people infected with the virus will increase enormously during the winter.

Many have already expressed concern about how the hospital will deal with the common winter diseases and Covid-19 stress. It is important to note that the number of coronavirus cases has risen in the recent weeks.

Therefore, HSE’s Chief Clinical Officer, Dr Colm Henry said that, it is imperative to avoid excessive hospital system in the coming weeks.

Dr. Henry said the HSE and the government were working to develop more subtle contracts with individual private hospitals during the winter to counter the increase in Covid-19 cases.

At the start of Pandemic, government signed a €115 million contract with private hospitals. The government also paid private hospitals to use all their facilities. But most of the facilities ultimately went unused.

The HSE is currently working on an agreement that would create a panel of private hospitals to provide additional resources to provide healthcare.

The Acting CMO, Dr. Ronan Glynn has called on the people of Dublin the other day to reduce their social contact as much as possible in view of the growing number of cases in the country.

Laura Durcan, a Beaumont Hospital rheumatology specialist, said that there was extensive testing of staff and patients.

“That is something in our hospital which is a success, but should probably be replicated across multiple hospitals,” she said.  

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