Infectious Diseases consultant Dr Eoghan de Barra has warned that the pressure on the health care system this winter will be “like the flu times 10”.
The health service will cope, but it will be difficult, he told Newstalk Breakfast.
“We’re in a much better place to deal with it now.”
Lessons were learned in March.
Dr Mick Molloy, a member of the IMO consultants committee and a consultant in Emergency Medicine in Wexford General Hospital told the same show that cancelling elective surgeries had made the space to cope with Covid-19 earlier in the year, but it was now taking staff much longer to deal with each patient because of the protective measures they had to take.
Some hospitals essentially had a parallel ICU system to deal specifically with Covid-19 patients which meant a need for more staff.
Dr Molloy called for more consultants to be appointed to help with the flow of patients through hospitals.
Dr Clive Kilgannon, also of the IMO’s consultants committee, told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that the winter will put extra pressure on the health care system.
“We’re now heading into the second phase, the good news is that this time we know better how to treat patients.”
But he warned that everyone needed to continue to follow public guidelines to make a difference.
“All of us need to redouble our efforts.
“What we all do now will have a disproportionate effect in a month’s time. We need to move quickly now as a society.”
Dr Kilgannon called for the immediate implementation of the Winter Plan, the deficits medical staff and in bed numbers needed to be addressed to avert a second wave.