NORTH SOUTH TALKS TO TAKE PLACE ON COVID AS NI HEALTHCARE SYSTEM STRUGGLES TO COPE

18 December 2020 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Michael Fisher

The Taoiseach has said health officials from either side of the border will speak to each other weekly from now on in order to co-ordinate their response to Covid-19. The serious situation that has developed with health services in the North where patients had to be held in ambulances outside Antrim hospital on Tuesday evening before being admitted to the emergency department led to suggestions that the Republic might be asked to offer help.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the situation in Northern Ireland was very serious, saying the rate of Covid infection there is four times the rate in the Republic. He said there was ongoing engagement, North and South, on a political level between himself and his Stormont counterpart Robin Swann and on a clinical level, between nurses and doctors. Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland yesterday, he said: “As always, if assistance would be of use in the North in regard to health care capacity, Ireland will not be found wanting in any way”. On the same programme, Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson David Cullinane TD said that “urgent and swift actions” were needed in Northern Ireland to take pressure off acute hospitals and to bring the numbers of Covid-19 cases down. He said Sinn Féin would fully…

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