Irish Medical Organisation

IMO Statement on Expert Panel Report on Covid-19 and Nursing Homes

  • IMO welcomes Report and seeks urgent discussions with Dept of Health and the HSE
  • Expert Panel recognises the capacity issues in General Practice and the central role of GPs in the provision of care to patients
  • Expert Panel urges implementation of Crowe Horwath Report for Public Health Specialists


Wednesday, August 19th, 2020.  The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has welcomed today’s publication of the Expert Panel Report on Covid-19 and Nursing Homes, and thanks the Expert Panel for the opportunity to present the views of the medical profession. 

The position of the IMO has long been that a new framework is required for the medical care of patients in nursing homes and supports for older persons in the community.

Speaking today, Dr. Denis McCauley, Chairman of the GP Committee of the IMO, said: “We welcome the expert panel’s acknowledgement of the vital need to recruit more GPs, address longstanding capacity issues, and empower GPs to work more effectively in the community and in nursing homes. GPs, along with their colleagues in public health, community geriatricians and nursing home staff, have provided an exceptional service to vulnerable patients despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis. However, it must be noted that the system for the provision of medical care for nursing home patients was not adequate prior to Covid-19 and was made all the more challenging by the impact of the pandemic.

“These recommendations are a step in the right direction that the Government must acknowledge and address as a matter of urgency, and the IMO is seeking urgent discussions with the Department of Health and HSE  to develop a framework for medical services to patients in both public and private nursing homes.

“Too often we have seen reports like these gather dust, and this cannot be allowed to happen now. We need strong and decisive action in order to address these legacy issues.”

Dr McCauley said this report also backed up recommendations from the Scally and Crowe Horwath Reports which include granting consultant status to public health specialists. “We are facing a public health emergency, so we need to properly resource the sector. It is unacceptable that we cannot appoint public health consultants at a time when the country is depending on their expertise.”

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