Overwhelming response to health service call for help; tens of thousands ready to be 'on call for Ireland' 

Overwhelming response to health service call for help; tens of thousands ready to be 'on call for Ireland' 

The major recruitment drive was launched on St Patrick’s Day urging all healthcare professionals who are not registered with the health service to be "on call for Ireland".

Twenty-four thousand expressions of interest have been made within 24 hours of the HSE recruitment drive to reinforce their medical frontline to fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.

The major recruitment drive was launched on St Patrick’s Day urging all healthcare professionals who are not registered with the health service to be "on call for Ireland".

Anyone who has retired within the last five years will be able to return to work in the health service.

The Minister for Health Simon Harris said it needs "all hands on deck".

He said: "We want to hire everybody we can possibly find to work in the health service.

"We want people who perhaps retired in recent years to come back if they're able to.

"We want people who might be working part-time, if they're able to work full time, we'll help them with that.

"We want student nurses perhaps or other students to take up roles in the health service, even if can't work as a fully-fledged nurse, in other roles, other jobs."

Meanwhile, staff in Cork Kerry Community Healthcare and the wider health service have been working closely with the National Ambulance Service to expand the number of test centres in the community.

The National Ambulance Service NAS started testing in the community on March 5 and since approximately 200 staff from across Community Healthcare Organisations have been trained to date on the procedures for testing in the community.

Four testing sites are now in operation in Cork and Kerry, with the first coming into operation late last week.

There is a testing site in Kerry, one Cork city, one in West Cork and one in North Cork.

More than 140 people were tested on Monday at these centres. 

The capacity of these sites is expected to increase significantly over the next few days as the processes become more streamlined.

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