Staff shortages surge at hospitals and businesses due to Omicron wave

Cork University Hospital has been dealing with increasing number of Covid-19 positive patients, as well as staffing challenges that are putting "significant pressure" on services.
Staff shortages surge at hospitals and businesses due to Omicron wave

Digital Desk Staff

With record-high cases of Covid-19 being reported, hospitals, bus services and businesses have said they are struggling to operate due to many of their staff being out with the virus.

As the Irish Examiner reports, Cork University Hospital (CUH) urged members of the public to explore all other options available before presenting to the Emergency Department.

The hospital has been dealing with increasing number of Covid-19 positive patients, as well as staffing challenges that are putting "significant pressure" on services.

A spokesperson for the hospital said the department has been "exceptionally busy over the past number of weeks."

"Due to this increased level of activity and subsequent admissions, it is regrettable that some patients may experience a delay in the ED," it was added.

"Hospital management have requested that, where appropriate, the public contact their GP/South Doc in the first instance and explore all other options available to them prior to attending the Emergency Department if their needs are not urgent.

"Patient care is paramount in CUH and this situation is being treated as a priority by hospital management who have taken steps to address this issue."

In Galway, the infection rate among staff at Galway University Hospital (GUH) has doubled in 48 hours.

Exhausted staff

GUH reported 190 infected on Friday, an increase from 100 just two days earlier.

Chief executive of Lifeline Ambulance Service, David Hall, says the situation's on a "knife-edge":

"The elephant in the room really is the staff - staff are exhausted, they have had two long years and many staff now have been infected by Omicron and indeed are close contacts.

"Removing them from the entire situation and the health system for a minimum of five days."

Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation's (INMO) general secretary has said staff are reaching a breaking point as hospitals are being urged to curtail all non-emergency activity and introduce greater measures to reduce transmission of Covid-19.

"We now have a very exhausted workforce who are facing into their fifth wave and what they are saying very clearly here and what their nurse managers are saying to us is the level of good will, the level of positivity that has been demonstrated by this workforce is unprecedented," said Phil Ní Sheaghdha.

The INMO says the hospital system is too small to cope with servicing emergency care, Covid care and elective treatments.

Bus Éireann has also apologised to travelers experiencing a delay with any services nationally today as they are experiencing a high level of staff absences due to Covid-19.

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