Covid-19 care leading to GP burnout warns Monaghan doctor 

295 people are being treated for coronavirus in hospital. 
Covid-19 care leading to GP burnout warns Monaghan doctor 

The warning comes after a week in which the collapse of the HSE's contact tracing system left many GPs having to trace for close contacts of positive cases. Picture: Pexels

A Monaghan doctor is warning that GP and out-of-hours practices are on the brink of collapse this winter.

Illona Duffy said many colleagues are suffering burnout due to the heavy workload from providing Covid-19 and non-Covid care.

It comes after a week in which the collapse of the HSE's contact tracing system left many GPs having to trace for close contacts of positive cases.

Yesterday was the second day case numbers dropped under 1,000 with four deaths and 859 new cases of the virus reported. 

Dr Duffy said the high workload facing GPs is a huge concern and that patients might not be able to access their GP services as normal. 

"What's going to happen this winter is we will get busier and busier without any extra supports. 

"We are going to see a situation where people will not be able to access their GP, they won't be able to get through on the phone, they won't be able to get that same day advice that they are used to, 

"And I think that is going to impact on hospital services which is something we don't want to see happen," said Dr Duffy. 

Meanwhile, figures released by health authorities show 295 people are being treated in hospital for Covid-19. It marks a decrease of 20 since the last update yesterday afternoon.

The figures showed that 37 people are in ICUs while the 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 people is now just under 303.

DCU Professor of Health Systems, Anthony Staines, said it is very positive some figures are falling and that people's behaviour may be changing. 

Professor Staines said: "There may be a shift there. People have begun to realise that some behaviours which seem naturally innocuous are actually quite dangerous. 

"There were a number of parties after GAA matches, for example, one in Galway and a couple in Cavan which has led to major increases in cases. 

"And I think that message has got out that these parties are not safe and that some of them become superspreader events."

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