Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said the Irish hospital system is close to full capacity in recent weeks.
Speaking in the Dáil, Donnelly said “attendances at emergency departments have increased steadily since the beginning of the year.”
“The HSE has estimated that for the week ending 4 July attendances were up 12% on the same time in 2019.”
The Health Minister went on to say the main reasons behind this surge is the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and additional GP referrals after the cyber attack on the HSE.
“The increased attendances, Covid-19 related patient safety protocols and manual workarounds and reduced access to diagnostics due to the ransomware attack have all been contributing to slower progress with patients through the system,” he said.
As of yesterday evening, there are 62 patients in Irish hospitals with Covid-19, 17 of these are in ICU.