Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The Chief Executive of the Saolta Health Care Group has issued a stark warning for the coming months.

Saolta chief Tony Canavan told a meeting of the Regional Health Forum West today that Covid-19 cases are expected to climb during the rest of this month and into December.

“We are concerned within the health services with where we are now in relation to Covid-19,” commented Mr Canavan.

He said the latest HSE modelling for the progression of the virus shows that case numbers will eventually level out at a relatively high number next month and will remain at that level for much of December and January.

Across the hospital group, which includes Mayo University Hospital, Galway University Hospital, Sligo University Hospital, Limerick University Hospital, Letterkenny University Hospital, and Portiuncula Hospital, there are currently 115 Covid-19 patients. The majority of these are in Limerick and Galway.

“I think it’s fair to say that all our hospitals across the region are extremely busy at the moment,” said Mr Canavan.

As of last Friday, Saolta Hospitals are admitting patients to hospitals on an elective basis. Mr Canavan said admissions are being scrutinised to ensure that only those cases that are most in need are actually admitted to hospital. He said this step has been taken to try and ensure hospitals have the capacity to deal with increasing Covid-19 patient numbers.

The booster programme in residential care facilities for older people has now been completed in the region. “Our focus this week is very much on providing boosters to health care workers,” said Mr Canavan. He said there are plans to accelerate the booster programme to the wider population during the months of January, February, and March.

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