April 26, 2020
Campaign needed to ensure people with non-COVID19 related health issues access necessary care – Louise O’Reilly

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health Louise O’Reilly TD has said that the HSE need to ensure that patients with non-COVID19 related health issues access proper care and do not suffer in silence, as data from the Irish Patients Association shows that attendances and admissions to hospitals are down by over 60,000.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The COVID19 crisis has created many difficulties across the health service and, indeed, across society. One particular issue that has arisen below the surface is that of patients not coming forward to access healthcare because they are afraid of contracting COVID19 in healthcare settings.

“Data from the Irish Patients Association shows that Emergency Department activity is down 52,180 in the last six weeks compared to this time last year and admissions to hospital are down 11,347.

“There is no doubt that people are suffering in silence or ignoring health issues because they are afraid to reach out for care. While this is understandable given the current circumstances, people should not ignore their health and wellbeing.

“Our fantastic GP network and our hospital system are able to care for all illnesses and people should not be suffering and allowing their health needs to escalate

“The HSE need to look at an awareness campaign to reassure people that if they need care they will get it and they will be given every protection necessary.

“The government must also start utilising our newly acquired public hospital capacity which has been sourced under the private hospital’s agreement.

“These are now public hospitals and their capacity and resources need to be put to work in the interest of public health.

“We have the resources and capacity to help people who have non-COVID19 related health issues, we just have to reassure them they can access that care and they will be kept safe.”

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