Tipperary’s Fianna Fáil TD says he would have hoped the virus figures, under Level 5 restrictions, would have gone down farther than they have.
Jackie Cahill was speaking as many healthcare facilities and nursing homes still face staffing shortages due to outbreaks or suspected cases.
Just last week, Tipp FM reported that 188 staff in the UL Hospitals Group were out of work because they were self-isolating.
Speaking on Tipp Today earlier, Deputy Cahill says there are similar situations elsewhere:
“I had a nursing home owner on to me the other week there who had an outbreak of COVID in the nursing home in the last month. It’s a small nursing home. Unfortunately, five patients died there.
“But at one stage she had only herself and another staff member that were available for duty. So, you know, COVID is posing huge challenges to the whole health service and while we had the third lowest rate in Europe – and I think that can’t go without some recognition – the challenges being posed by COVID to the health service is still very much with us.”
Deputy Cahill also said that relieving pressure on University Hospital Limerick is a priority for the government.
And he reiterated his calls for better use to be made of Nenagh hospital:
“Limerick is a priority for the HSE and I would say, and have said on numerous occasions, that there has to be more use made of Ennis and Nenagh as well.
“Nenagh was a battle zone last winter, and that was without COVID. And I’ll be pressing hard that Nenagh and Ennis would have greater use of their A&E to take some pressure off of Limerick.
“That needs to be done especially in this unique year that we’re in.”