Justine Dwyer

University Hospital Waterford is under relentless pressure to maintain services this week with a total of 202 staff absent due to Covid. As of yesterday (Monday) there were 37 cases of Covid-19 on site, with one patient in ICU.

Management at the hospital requested that all scheduled patients contact the hospital by phone first as the hospital was almost at capacity and therefore it was likely that, in some cases, surgery would be cancelled.

As the Omicron variant continued to sweep through the country, huge staffing issues were being reported across the health care system as thousands of staff members remained out sick or forced to restrict their movements.

Meanwhile Sinn Fein spokesperson on health, Deputy David Cullinane has called for a plan from the Minister for Health to help deal with the crisis. “The rapid spread of Omicron in the community is having a real impact on health care. With large numbers of staff out sick, it is adding to an already highly pressurised situation.”

He added that although ICU numbers had stabilised, a plan was now required to move forward and to manage healthcare for the next few months, “and as best as possible minimise disruption and avoid hospital cancellations as best we can.”

University Hospital Waterford