Nurses and midwives across Cork and Ireland have taken part in three 24-hour strikes since January 30 in a bid to highlight pay disparity and poor working conditions in the sector.
Thousands of appointments and procedures have been cancelled across the country as the HSE reports widespread disruption.
Cork GP, Dr Doireann O’Leary, said lives will be lost.
“Whether that’s as a result of delayed diagnoses or delayed treatment or people feeling they can’t seek treatment in hospitals because of the strike action, I think that this is definitely going to result in people dying.”
Dr O’Leary’s own father had two scans cancelled due to the strike action.
After paying for a private scan in Cork, he was informed he had an advanced form of lung cancer.
Dr O’Leary added: “My mother was told his scans were cancelled due to strike action and his diagnosis was delayed.”
“We knew he needed a scan and that there was a concern about the possibility of lung cancer so I got him a next-day appointment in Affidea (for a private scan),” said Dr O’Leary.