'Every effort' will be made to alleviate pressure on the health service, Taoiseach says

Mr Martin made the comments speaking to reporters at Cork Airport after he officially opened the newly reconstructed runway.
'Every effort' will be made to alleviate pressure on the health service, Taoiseach says

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said every effort will be made to alleviate the pressures on the health service amid what he described as “another difficult and very challenging phase of this pandemic”. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said every effort will be made to alleviate the pressures on the health service amid what he described as “another difficult and very challenging phase of this pandemic”.

Mr Martin made the comments speaking to reporters at Cork Airport after he officially opened the newly reconstructed runway.

“Working together right throughout the pandemic we’ve come through difficult phases of it.

“We’re now going through another difficult and very challenging phase of this pandemic - this fourth surge,” he said.

Mr Martin said Government is taking “a number of approaches” in an attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19 and that the HSE is engaging with hospitals across the country in terms of mitigating measures.

“Every effort will be made obviously to alleviate the pressures within our health service because of the fourth wave and the impact that it’s having.

“In parallel with that of course, the booster campaign is being rolled out, and over half a million people now, by the end of today, will have received a booster vaccine,” he said.

The Taoiseach’s comments come as yesterday Cork University Hospital (CUH) confirmed that their Hospital Surge Plan is currently being implemented, with the hospital also stating that this may, unfortunately, result in the cancellation of a number of non-urgent procedures.

“Patients will be contacted directly in the event of their procedure being cancelled,” the hospital said in a statement.

CUH hospital management also requested that members of the public contact their GP or SouthDoc in the first instance and explore all other options available to them prior to attending the Emergency Department if their needs are not urgent.

Earlier this week, new Covid restrictions were announced following increasing concerns about the pressure on hospitals.

Speaking today, Mr Martin said that Government will continue to monitor the situation.

“Collectively, if we keep socialisation down, we can limit the spread of this virus,” he added.

Mr Martin said that while Government is “very concerned” with the high Covid-19 case numbers, the country is in a “different position” than previous waves because of the high vaccination rate.

He took the opportunity to implore those who are not yet vaccinated to avail of the Covid vaccine.

“I would urge people - those who are still not vaccinated - to get vaccinated. It does really prevent severe illness.

“It prevents admission to ICU. We know that the numbers of unvaccinated are disproportionately represented in the hospitals and in our ICUs,” he said.

“I would also say to those - and this has improved in recent days - those who get a call to take the booster, take it when you’re offered the booster.

“That’s very, very important because it not only restores the immunity that has waned but it actually gives additional protection.”

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