Health service will be irrevocably changed by Covid-19 crisis, says doctor who returned to frontline

Retired emergency medicine consultant, Chris Luke who has returned to the frontlines during the Covid-19 crisis, has said that he thinks the health care service will be changed for the better by the emergency.

“There is no doubt that tele-consulting will become a normal thing in (general practice),” he told Newstalk Breakfast.

Dr Luke also told of how preparations have been ongoing for the anticipated surge in in Covid-19 cases with reconfigured emergency departments.

There are no longer curtains around beds in wards and there are also triage tents outside the hospital where he works in Cork. “There has been a great deal of preparation.”

Dr Luke also welcomed the arrival of protective equipment from China, saying there had been some anxiety about supplies.

The health service will be irrevocably changed by the crisis, he said. While there has been a serious drop in farm injuries and industrial accidents, he was concerned that people may not be attending hospital because of coronavirus worries.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister will meet top officials today to arrange for new measures to tackle Covid-19 in nursing homes.

There are now 17 clusters of the coronavirus in nursing homes across the state.

Simon Harris says he is very worried about the prevalence of the illness among older people.

Yesterday it was announced that 10 more people in Ireland had died after contracting Covid-19.

It brings the death toll since the beginning of the outbreak to 46.

There have also been 200 new confirmed cases of the virus in the country – bringing the total to 2,615.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024