March 11, 2020
Immediate preparations needed for health staff and facilities to deal with Covid-19 – Louise O’Reilly TD

Speaking this afternoon Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has called on the caretaker government and the HSE to ensure that hospitals have the necessary rest and shower facilities for staff, as well as ensuring doctors and nurses from other specialities are being trained up to deal with Covid-19.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“It is very important that doctors and nurses from other specialities are being trained up in dealing with respiratory illness, as well as given infectious disease training, ICU training, and Personnel Protective Equipment training in the event that they are needed to help deal with an increase in Covid-19.

“Many frontline medical professionals have reached out to me on this matter to ask that training is done now when we are at the early stages of the spread of the virus.

“Furthermore, the government needs to ensure that we have the necessary rest and shower facilities for healthcare workers.

“If we follow the same trajectory of other continental European countries, then our health service staff will be working long and difficult shifts – it is essential that they have facilities to clean, wash and rest between shifts.

“The government need to be cognisant that any planning for school closures will need to factor in that the children of medical professionals will need to be looked after so their parents can work at the front line.

“Finally, I would also call on the HSE and the caretaker government to ensure that hospitals and medical professionals are given clear, concise, and definitive direction as to what is expected from them by way of preparation and internal deployment over the coming days.

“I have written to the caretaker Minister for Health on these matters and I would hope that there will be action on them very quickly.”

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