GP deeply concerned about access to non-covid care during winter period

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Digital Desk Staff

A Monaghan GP says she is deeply concerned about patient access to non-covid care over the winter period.

Dr Illona Duffy says GPs are seeing a 'rapid rise' in non-virus related presentations.

She says many of the vital services they need have either been closed or severely curtailed due to the pandemic.

Dr Duffy says GPs are worried about the outcomes for these patients:

"We know that throughout the country, hospitals and community services have closed because they had to, because of the rising number of Covid cases in the early stages.

"Many of those services either haven't reopened or have reopened but at lower rates. What that is doing is impacting on people's general healthcare."

Primary psychology

She said it is causing a delay in getting tests done and a delay in been seen at specialist clinics. This means people's medical problems deteriorate and the outcome is worse for them overall.

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Dr Duffy also added: "If the rates continue to rise we will start to see more services in hospitals and the community closing again.

"One simple example is that we've had no primary psychology, no ability to refer patients to psychology for adults and children since March.

"The impact on people's mental health, and mental health has an impact on physical health, just can't be measured."

She reminded people that they need to restrict their movements and self-isolate if they have Covid-19 symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has the virus.

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