The education and training body for GPs in Ireland is urging them to “take the time to address any health concerns they may have themselves” as the pandemic has “unveiled the serious difficulties health workers are facing worldwide” while responding to Covid-19.
It comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) is using World Patient Safety Day 2020 to highlight the importance of health worker safety for patient safety.
“Healthcare worker self-care is really important at any time, but particularly during this pandemic,” Dr Margaret O Riordan, President of the ICGP said.
“It’s important to encourage and support doctors to put time aside to take care of themselves. The college provides a range of support services for members, including the aim that every GP and GP trainee should have a GP.”
According to the WHO, “thousands of patients across the world suffer avoidable harm, or are put at risk of injury, while receiving health care every single day.”
The organisation says as health workers work in stressful environments, this “exacerbates risks to the physical and mental health and safety of health workers making them more prone to errors which might lead to patient harm.”
As a result, WHO is using this year’s World Patient Safety Day to emphasise the need for a safe working environment for health workers as a “prerequisite” for ensuring patient safety.
Dr Andrée Rochfort, Director of the Doctors Health Programme at the ICGP said: “On World Patient Safety Day, GPs are encouraged to plan to take some time out for non-work activities.
“They could also use this day as an opportunity to make an appointment to see their own GP for any health concerns they may have themselves.”