HSE to warn Dáil committee many public hospitals 'not fit for purpose' in tackling Covid-19

The HSE will today tell a special Oireachtas committee that many public hospitals are "not fit for purpose" in terms of tackling a second wave of Covid-19 cases.
HSE to warn Dáil committee many public hospitals 'not fit for purpose' in tackling Covid-19
The HSE's director of acute operations Liam Woods will warn the Dáil committee that many public hospitals are not capable of providing the safe distancing needed to protect against the spread of Covid-19.

The HSE will today raise concerns about whether the health service is capable of dealing with another wave of Covid-19 cases.

It will tell a special Oireachtas committee that many public hospitals are "not fit for purpose", and that many of them are not capable of providing the safe distancing needed to protect against the spread of the virus.

National director of acute operations Liam Woods will issue the warning at this morning's Dáil committee.

Irish Examiner political editor Daniel McConnell said the opening statement sets out the longer term impacts for Covid-19.

He said the statement is "making it clear that the system as currently constructed is not fit for purpose, does not have the capacity to withstand another major shock.

"Ultimately (the statement makes clear) there will be longer waiting times and slower turnaround of services, which obviously has a knock-on effect for people who are already ill and need a timely access to services."

Public health officials are also expected to advise today against easing restrictions more quickly than was originally set out.

It comes as one more person's death was confirmed in yesterday's figures, as were 77 new confirmed Covid-19 cases.

    Yesterday’s data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) revealed:
  • Ireland has had a total of 25,062 confirmed cases
  • 57% of confirmed cases are female and 43% are male;
  • The median age of confirmed cases is 48 years
  • 3,286 cases (13%) have been hospitalised
  • Of those hospitalised, 408 cases have been admitted to ICU
  • 7,968 cases are associated with healthcare workers
  • Dublin has the highest number of cases at 12,052 (48% of all cases) followed by Cork with 1,514 cases (6%) and then Kildare with 1,417 cases (6%)
  • Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 39%, close contact accounts for 58%, travel abroad accounts for 2%

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