28 March 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Cork South Central Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has said that much more needs to be done to ensure the shortage of Private Protective Equipment with the HSE is resolved.
He has also called on anyone with any Personnel Protective Equipment items to please donate them to the HSE, and for anyone in Cork with the capacity to produce them, to look in to doing so immediately.
“The reality is there are ongoing PPE shortages in the health service for our frontline staff. Doctors, nurses, and ambulance personnel have all reached out to me over the past 24 hours to raise concerns about the lack of different PPE items as they go about working at the frontline of the fight against Covid-19.
“The current situation is becoming more and more difficult as we wait for supplies of PPE to arrive onshore with 26% of those affected by the Covid-19 virus being healthcare workers.
“Along with the arrival of imported PPE, attempts must also be made to ensure we have a reliable, domestic production line of various PPE items to protect our supply chain in case of external difficulties and guarantee our health staff have the protective equipment they need.
“However, in the here and now, frontline health workers are telling us there is a very real shortage of PPE.
“I have also heard complaints from Home Helps who do not always have access to hand sanitiser, a matter I have raised with the HSE
“I would urge any companies or individuals who have stocks of different PPE items to please make them available to our frontline health workers.”
“In addition, there may be companies in Cork who can help. I know that in Tyrone, O’Neills have repurposed a factory to produce PPE. This is not only keeping people in work, but it is producing absolutely essential equipment for our frontline staff.”
“There is no guarantee that supplies being imported will be anywhere near enough
“We are all in this together, but our health workers are not only our last line of defence, but our only line of defence. Please, let’s help them in any way we can.”