No ICU beds available in Cork’s main hospitals

15 October 2020
By Bryan Smyth

Opposition TD expresses concern at ‘Zero ICU beds available in Cork’s main hospitals’

Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has expressed his concern at the lack of ICU beds in Cork’s Hospitals.

Speaking today, the Cork South Central TD has called for the Government to urgently increase access to ICU beds, and beds more generally. He said:

“Last week, we were told there were just three acute care beds across the Mercy and CUH. Now, it has been reported that there are no ICU beds available at all as of last night. This is deeply troubling and worrying.”

“It is clear that the hospital system here is under severe pressure, and will struggle to cope with the influx of Covid-19 related cases of a second wave. I understand, that the daily number of cases in Cork has increased ten-fold in the past month.”

“While the pressure on the system is not only caused by COVID, but issues generally in healthcare, it does demonstrate the precarious situation, which would be exacerbated by significant numbers of COVID cases.”

“I am calling on the Minister for Health, as I have previously, to urgently seek and acquire additional beds as required. That includes in the ICU, but also community and step down beds. It is very clear that there is a very urgent need.”

“The Government and the HSE need to step up and protect our hospitals in Cork, provide them with the support and help they need.”

“This is a crucial time for Cork. We need to relieve the pressure on ICU and critical care beds in our hospitals. I know that the restrictions announced last night on households visits will be difficult for many, but if they are what is required to put a stop to a second wave, then we must all play our part. I am also aware that they may have an isolating effect for some, and am asking the local people to look out for each other, and check in by telephone or virtually with elderly neighbours and relatives.”

“We all, as the people of Cork, must take care, be sensible, and follow the public health guidelines. We know what we all need to do to stop the spread: wash our hands, wear a mask, and limit any social contacts.”

“We must all make changes now, to ensure that if it comes to a hard situation where it is you or a loved one who might need a hospital bed, that there will be one available. We need to do all we can to protect each other, especially the older and more vulnerable members of the community.”

File photo of TD (from the happier pre COVID era)

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