Nurses and doctors across the country have issued a call for the reintroduction of mask-wearing and working from home to ease the surge of Covid-19.
Medical and nursing staff say they are exhausted ‘dealing with wave-upon-wave of patients diagnosed with COVID’.
Two unions representing staff in Emergency Departments are calling on the government to revisit public health measures and adhere to the advice of the World Health Organisation.
Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “The INMO and our colleagues in the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine have come together today to call on the Government and public health teams to review measures ahead of the peak of the latest wave of the COVID virus. Wearing masks and working from home will assist, they will not stop the spread, but have and will reduce intensity of infection and reduce cross infection. Mandating these measures is now a matter of urgency.
“Hospitals are currently not safe for patients or for staff because of the level of overcrowding and COVID infection levels. We need clear and coherent public health advice from Government and senior public health officials. The public need to be made aware of why we need them to once again step up to the plate in order to protect those who are working on our frontlines.”
Irish Association of Emergency Medicine President, Mr Fergal Hickey said: “The situation in Irish hospitals at present is the worst that many of my colleagues and I have seen in our careers. The situation at present is intolerable for all who work in our hospitals. Our hospitals have been hanging together by a thread of goodwill of staff but that is about to snap.
“The problem of overcrowding at this level is not a new phenomenon in our hospitals. Medical professionals have been sounding the alarm for a long time now. Immediate stronger public health measures are needed – not doing so and abandoning the hospitals to the inevitable will lead to preventable unnecessary higher levels of illness requiring hospital admission and, sadly, for some a fatal outcome. Hospitals are currently not safe for patients or for staff because of the level of overcrowding and COVID infection levels.”