Irish Medical Organisation

Ebola Virus - IMO Meets with HSE to discuss concerns over preparations for dealing with suspected cases

Thursday 16th October 2014. The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has issued a statement after meeting yesterday (Wed) with the HSE to discuss the HSE’s contingency plans in the event of an Ebola case in Ireland.

The IMO warned the HSE of its concerns that must be addressed as part of the arrangements being put in place by the HSE to deal with the matter.

Professor Trevor Duffy, IMO President had a number of concerns; “Obviously everyone in this country hopes that the Ebola virus is a problem that we never have to deal with. But in the event that there are incidents of the virus that emerge here or scares about potential incidents, it is critical that we have arrangements and structures in place. ”

The IMO has a number of particular concerns including:

• The wisdom of advising patients displaying Ebola symptoms to visit their GP when GP surgeries are not the appropriate setting and advising patients with symptoms to attend GP surgeries is potentially dangerous.

• The imperative to establish sufficiently robust protocols for suspected cases in an Emergency Department setting.

• The imperative to train sufficient numbers of Hospital staff in responding to infectious diseases generally.

• The shortage of Public Health Doctors in general and the lack of support services for those Public Health Doctors who are in place.

• The critical need for agreed arrangements for dealing with circumstances where medical staff have to deal with a patient displaying symptoms of Ebola.

Professor Duffy said that the IMO delegation had urged the HSE to respond to their concerns and the HSE has agreed that a follow up meeting will take place to discuss their response to the issue.


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