As over 2,000 health workers across the country are absent due to Covid-related issues, University Hospital Limerick and University Hospital Galway have confirmed that they had to cancel surgeries as a result of the staff shortages.
This option, being described as a “last resort”, has placed hospitals in the position of being pushed to the brink in less than a month.
In some situations, wards had to be closed as a result of the increase in Covid-19 patients which has arisen during a time of growing respiratory illness and emergency attendances.
HSE chief Paul Reid said that he is anxious for healthcare staff to get booster vaccines as Covid-19 cases continue to rise.
He has also expressed concerns over the rising number of infections that may leave the health service short-staffed over the busy winter period.
This also comes as the number of people receiving hospital treatment for Covid-19 hits 448 with 88 in ICU.
An additional 2,029 cases of the virus were also reported yesterday as the recent surge in cases continues.
Although vaccinations will prevent people from becoming seriously ill from Covid-19, hospitals will also have to deal with the flu and other respiratory illnesses, patients who had delayed care due to restrictions and excessively long waiting lists as they enter the winter.
With 1,823 staff absent, a spokesperson for the University of Limerick Hospital Group said that it has postponed all but the most urgent outpatient clinics from Monday to Wednesday this week along with some elective surgeries.
IMAGE – IMAGE – Twitter/paulreiddubli/”Two nurses transporting a bed down a hospital corridor” is licensed under CC BY 4.0