LOCAL DOCTOR WARNS OF STRAINS FOR GENERAL PRACTICE AS COVID NUMBERS INCREASE

30 October 2020 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Michael Fisher

A Monaghan GP has warned that surgeries and out-ofhours practices are on the brink of collapse this winter as the health service struggles to deal with Covid- 19. Dr Illona Duffy from the Swan Park surgery expressed concern about whether GPs would be able to cope under the wave of pressure following a week in which the collapse of the HSE’s contact tracing systems dominated the headlines. The problem was compounded by the suspension of Covid testing at the National Virus Reference Laboratory at the weekend owing to staff shortages.

While the HSE’s winter plan promises to support GPs, particularly the 40% of practices run by just one or two doctors, Dr Duffy said she has seen no evidence that improvements are being made. Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, the Monaghan GP said she is witnessing family doctors suffering burnout. She said this would lead to more ill patients flocking to Emergency Departments owing to GP services being forced out of action. This, she said, will have a detrimental…

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