Hospital consultants welcome coronavirus measures but warn about challenges at ICU departments

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

coronavirus covid-19

Irish Hospital Consultants Association respond

An association that represents hospital consultants who will be at the frontline of fighting the coronavirus has backed  Irish Government's new restrictions but has cautioned that hospital ICU departments will be challenged particularly those that are underresourced.

Dr Donal O'Hanlon, President of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association, responded to the Government’s Covid-19 announcement on March 12.

“We welcome today’s announcement from An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, on the Government’s latest response to COVID-19.

“Hospital consultants are very supportive of the Government measures announced today. The new measures are a necessary step towards facing the unprecedented challenge that the virus presents, namely, the increased risk of community transmission and the priority to now delay the spread of the virus in the period ahead.

“The IHCA and our hospital consultant members have been working closely with the Minister and Department of Health, HSE and our public health experts as the situation has developed and this engagement is ongoing to support efforts to delay and manage the spread and impact of the virus.

“In particular, at the level of our acute public hospitals, significant work is underway to better prepare our acute hospitals for the escalation in demand from coronavirus infected patients. However, our ICU facilities will be challenged, particularly, as we are starting from a position of under-resourcing in these units.

“This makes a responsible response from the public even more important. We strongly urge the public and patients to continue to follow the best practice advice of our public health experts who are positioned to give the most appropriate advice over the coming weeks.

“The virus will test all healthcare staff and place huge responsibilities and burdens upon us all. As we have always done, consultants and all front-line hospital staff are working together and facing this challenge as a team, our focus remains on supporting our patients," he said.