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Hospital hell Covid crisis highlights 'dangerous, reckless and unsustainable' issues in healthcare system

Prof Irvine also claimed that the Government has been aware of the need for more intensive care beds for more than a decade.

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Professor Alan Irvine

Professor Alan Irvine

Collins

Professor Alan Irvine

The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the “dangerous, reckless and unsustainable” issues confronting the healthcare system in Ireland, a leading hospital consultant has said.

Speaking at the Irish Hospital Consultants Association gathering earlier today, Prof Alan Irvine claimed the scale of the pandemic would not have been so severe if long-standing health service problems had been addressed.

Addressing attendees including health minister Stephen Donnelly and HSE director general Paul Reid, Mr Irvine said the virus has shown up long standing issues in Irish healthcare.

“It has brought our society to the brink,” he declared. “Our people are feeling its effects personally, socially, financially, and psychologically.

“It has sharply brought home to us the co-dependency that exists between a sustainable economy and a properly resourced health system, a co- dependency that perhaps we didn’t truly appreciate up to now."

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Alan Irvine

Alan Irvine

Collins

Alan Irvine

Prof Irvine also claimed that the Government has been aware of the need for more intensive care beds for more than a decade.

“As far ago as 2009, the State identified that we should have 589 intensive care beds and we started this Covid crisis in January with 220, so we actually went back from 2009,” he claimed.

“Slowly, we’re building up capacity again and today as we speak we have 280, 281 ICU beds available, we’d like to see that get to 400 very quickly, we’d like the capacity to ramp up.”

However, Prof Irvine said credit was due to Minister Donnelly and Mr Reid on the “rarity” of the publication of a Winter Plan for the healthcare service before winter.

Online Editors