Nphet and HSE to appear before Oireachtas Health Committee

The Joint Committee on Health is expected to discuss the pressure Covid-19 is putting on the health system as well as other non-Covid patient care issues
Nphet and HSE to appear before Oireachtas Health Committee

Dr Ronan Glynn will appear before the committee. Picture: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

Members of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) and the Health Service Executive (HSE) are due to appear before the Oireachtas Health Committee on Friday.

The Joint Committee on Health is expected to discuss the pressure Covid-19 is putting on the health system as well as other non-Covid patient care issues.

“Unfortunately, Covid-19 is continuing to claim lives and force people to seek hospital care in increasing numbers,” said committee chair Sean Crowe.

“The number of patients admitted to our hospitals with Covid-19 topped 2,000 for the first time this week.

“The impact and pressure this surge in Covid-19 prevalence is having on the health system including, staffing levels, ICU bed availability, surgery, cancer care and other non-Covid patient care in our acute hospitals are among the issues we want to discuss at our meeting tomorrow.” 

The Department of Health reported today that as of 2pm, 1,943 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 214 are in ICUs.

 

The number of people in ICUs is at its highest level since the pandemic began. On Monday, hospitalisations from Covid-19 reached 2,020 patients.

On Thursday, Nphet reported further 51 deaths and 2,608 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn highlighted how there have been 532 Covid-19-related deaths so far in January and he said "we can unfortunately expect this trend to continue over the coming days".

Mr Crowe stated that the Health Committee will “also examine the latest projections on the spread of Covid in the community and the need to get control of the virus”.

He said: “It is important that we get an understanding of the forecasts which indicate that the spread of infection is falling, albeit from a very high level.

“The Committee will also assess the capacity of the health services to resume contact tracing of close contacts of those who have a received a positive result so that we can again get ahead of the virus and also avoid a repeat of the previous breakdown in the contact tracing system.” 

From Nphet, Dr Glynn; Celeste O’Callaghan, (Director, Acute Hospital Policy Division, Department of Health); David Smith, (Director, Governance and Performance Division, Department of Health) and Gerry O’Brien, (Director, Health Protection Division at the Department of Health) will appear before the Committee.

The HSE witnesses before the Committee will be Liam Woods, National Director, Acute Operations; Angela Fitzgerald, Deputy National Director, Acute Operations and Dr Vida Hamilton, National Clinical Advisor and Group Lead, Acute Operations.

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