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Ireland’s health workers have world’s highest rate of Covid-19, committee hears

  • 23-06-2020 5:14pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 4,550 ✭✭✭ ShineOn7


    It's as big a scandal as the Nursing Homes and I'm in disbelief when I hear experts on radio shows saying "the Government have done a great job"

    Even ones I really respect like Luke O' Neil seem to using this expression

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/ireland-s-health-workers-have-world-s-highest-rate-of-covid-19-committee-hears-1.4286233

    From the article:

    Ireland has the highest rate of infection from coronavirus of health workers globally, the Oireachtas Covid-19 committee has been told.


    General secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) Phil Ní Sheaghdha said nurses felt “applauded and abandoned” by the HSE and the State as they struggled to balance work with childcare.


    She said she did not think the sacrifice nurses made to contribute to the health service could be matched by any other sector of the public service.
    Ms Ní Sheaghdha said an international comparison found Ireland had the highest rate of infection. She told Fianna Fáil health spokesman Stephen Donnelly that the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) was a major issue.


    In one case, a nurse was sent home for wearing a mask and it became an industrial relations issue which was resolved, she said.
    She said “face masks should have been mandatory” from the start for all healthcare workers in healthcare settings and that infection rates fell dramatically once masks were worn.


    Figures from the INMO showed that up to the end of May, a total of 8,018 cases of infection of healthcare workers were reported.


    A survey by the organisation found that 60 per cent of nurses faced additional expenditure to enable them attend work. Some had a relative live with them to provide childcare, or ended up using all their leave and taking unpaid leave to mind their children because of lack of alternatives.
    The INMO called for the costs to nurses and midwives of attending work to be repaid to them and they had to be prioritised when childcare services returned.


    In an address to the committee which is looking at the impact of the pandemic, she said it was an “absolute scandal” that Ireland has the highest rate of infection.


    She said there was a moratorium on recruitment since last May so staffing levels were particularly compromised.


    She said there was a huge reliance on overseas recruitment with 1,819 nurses from non-EU countries, predominantly the Philippines and India, but because of Covid travel restrictions many were unable to travel.
    Ms Ní Sheaghdha said that 88 per cent of those infected who work in the health service got the virus at work and had to absent themselves for 14 days.


    Some 66 per cent or 4,823 remain out sick, and of that number 1,600 are categorised as nurses and midwives.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,247 ✭✭✭ milli milli


    I’m not disputing this but am finding it hard to believe, when Italy was crying out for PPE and there were reports of US healthcare workers having to wear bin bags.
    So how has this happened in Ireland? Can someone explain this? Did we have a PPE shortage? Or has it do with our reporting (bearing in mind, we have reported cases/deaths outside of hospitals, when other countries haven’t)?

    Edit - APOLOGIES I didn’t read the report - I already heard the headline so that’s why I replied straightaway.
    Still with the amount of cases in Italy and the US, how can we be higher than them?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,550 ✭✭✭ ShineOn7


    Still with the amount of cases in Italy and the US, how can we be higher than them?


    Because, generally speaking, we've made a balls of all things Covid


  • Registered Users Posts: 506 ✭✭✭ radiotrickster


    Still with the amount of cases in Italy and the US, how can we be higher than them?

    I started working in a hospital just before this kicked off. From what we were told, the rate of infection from patient contact was very low. It was mainly that a couple of staff got infected abroad and it spread by staff interacting with each other at work. We were all aware of the risk with patients but some people were more lax with each other.

    It'd be interesting to hear what departments were worst hit nationwide as between where my mates and I work (two different hospitals), it was security, portering and housekeeping that were worst hit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,371 ✭✭✭ Jim_Hodge


    I started working in a hospital just before this kicked off. From what we were told, the rate of infection from patient contact was very low. It was mainly that a couple of staff got infected abroad and it spread by staff interacting with each other at work. We were all aware of the risk with patients but some people were more lax with each other.

    It'd be interesting to hear what departments were worst hit nationwide as between where my mates and I work (two different hospitals), it was security, portering and housekeeping that were worst hit.

    That's exactly what two members of my family said. Nurses et al took precautions dealing with patients but were very lax among themselves.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,247 ✭✭✭ milli milli


    ShineOn7 wrote: »
    Because, generally speaking, we've made a balls of all things Covid

    To be honest it seems like the population in general made a balls of it, by not adhering to guidelines (the ones not social distancing, going to pubs despite warnings, going to secret parties, spitting at Garda, etc.)
    Way back in March before the lockdown the government were telling us to be cautious whilst it was a total free-for-all in our neighbouring country when their own buffoon PM contracting the virus due to his stupidity. And the U.K. are land linked to Europe so technically would be hit sooner than us.

    Im tired of all this blaming the government - we locked down early. The nursing homes should have been locked down sooner (although I have seen posts on here where care workers were having friends over during lockdown, so the blame needs to be shared).


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,247 ✭✭✭ milli milli


    I started working in a hospital just before this kicked off. From what we were told, the rate of infection from patient contact was very low. It was mainly that a couple of staff got infected abroad and it spread by staff interacting with each other at work. We were all aware of the risk with patients but some people were more lax with each other.

    It'd be interesting to hear what departments were worst hit nationwide as between where my mates and I work (two different hospitals), it was security, portering and housekeeping that were worst hit.

    Wow that’s interesting. It would be interesting to see the department breakdown - I hope that will be public knowledge.

    It’s very sad though at the same time. I think some people will only take this seriously when they contract the virus themselves or have someone die from it.
    I spoke to a relation recently at a funeral and we got to talking about Covid and when I mentioned the Spanish flu from 100 years ago, he didn’t know what I was talking about!
    I despair sometimes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,299 ✭✭✭ Snotty


    I'd really question this stat and the methodology in gathering these figures, are all "healthcare" workers categorised the same in all the countries that this was compiled from, I'd doubt it


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,215 ✭✭✭ Polar101


    "She said “face masks should have been mandatory” from the start for all healthcare workers in healthcare settings, and that infection rates fell dramatically once masks were made obligatory on April 22nd."

    That's pretty shocking that it took until April 22nd, but hopefully enough measures have been taken to improve health and safety - so this won't happen again.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,896 ✭✭✭ sabat


    4,800 still out sick? I call shenanigans...


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  • Registered Users Posts: 68,333 ✭✭✭✭ seamus


    I'm really interested to know why the INMO are getting a pass on this and not being pulled up on their numbers.

    Their claim that Irish HCW have the highest rate of Covid is demonstrably false. Netherlands for one, has it worse. But many other countries, such as the UK, have massive death rates amongst HCW, but their case numbers are less; because they're not testing.

    Also the claim that 4,800 HCW are out sick with Covid. Considering the official number of active Covid cases in Ireland today (across the entire population) is 2,700, either thousands of HCW are telling porkies and lazing around on sick leave without being sick, or the INMO is pulling figures from their holes.

    The problem is that these numbers left unchallenged, will be repeated ad nauseum for the next five years.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,962 ✭✭✭ Serenity Spicy Dressmaker


    seamus wrote: »
    Also the claim that 4,800 HCW are out sick with Covid. Considering the official number of active Covid cases in Ireland today (across the entire population) is 2,700, either thousands of HCW are telling porkies and lazing around on sick leave without being sick, or the INMO is pulling figures from their holes.

    You can be Covid free (ie not an active case) and still be in a coma. Of the people I know who contracted it, over half are still quite sick weeks later despite being officially free of the virus. Many of them are healthcare staff.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,743 ✭✭✭ KaneToad


    The INMO have one purpose - to improve the pay & conditions of their members. They are not an authority on anything else.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,250 ✭✭✭ Seamai


    seamus wrote: »
    I'm really interested to know why the INMO are getting a pass on this and not being pulled up on their numbers.

    Their claim that Irish HCW have the highest rate of Covid is demonstrably false. Netherlands for one, has it worse. But many other countries, such as the UK, have massive death rates amongst HCW, but their case numbers are less; because they're not testing.

    Also the claim that 4,800 HCW are out sick with Covid. Considering the official number of active Covid cases in Ireland today (across the entire population) is 2,700, either thousands of HCW are telling porkies and lazing around on sick leave without being sick, or the INMO is pulling figures from their holes.

    The problem is that these numbers left unchallenged, will be repeated ad nauseum for the next five years.

    The last official figure on active cases (almost two weeks ago)was less than 1,000, given the very low levels of new cases in the last few weeks that figure should now be a lot lower.
    I'm getting tired of claims that we have the lowest levels of this and the highest of that with nothing to back them up.

    Back in April Tesco in the UK were claiming that a ridiculous percentage of their staff were out sick with COVID-19 but yet it didn't seem to be an issue for other supermarket chains.

    I read a headline back a while claiming we had the worst child obesity in the EU, I was in Malta a few weeks later and picked up a local newspaper in a cafe and they were claiming they were top.of the league.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,635 ✭✭✭ plodder


    It would be interesting to see what the weekly case numbers are for health-care workers. Since we were all caught on the hop with the PPE issue, it's likely to expect that numbers were very high at the start. But, we are spending an astronomical sum on PPE now. If we are spending at a rate of 1 billion a year, then is the USA (pop 65 times us) spending 65 billion? I doubt it. The INMO seem to be playing hardball politically. I heard the anecdote about a worker being sent home for using a mask. It doesn't sound good out of context, but presumably PPE had to be prioritised in the early days, and there should be enough of it now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,333 ✭✭✭✭ seamus


    You can be Covid free (ie not an active case) and still be in a coma. Of the people I know who contracted it, over half are still quite sick weeks later despite being officially free of the virus. Many of them are healthcare staff.
    Let's put it in more perspective. The INMO are claiming that 60% of the healthcare workers who got covid, are still sick.

    60% of the people who got Covid in Ireland, are not still sick. If they were, we would have a much bigger problem than just covid itself. It would mean there were 15,000 people in Ireland who had recovered from Covid but were still too unwell to work. We'd still be in lockdown because it would mean the virus is far more dangerous than we think it is.

    The INMO has nothing to back up this figure. They claim it came from the HPSC, but the HPSC never published this figure. It was a number thrown out by someone during a meeting somewhere in the last few weeks, that the INMO have run with.

    Official figures of HCW who still have Covid, is 7%, or around 560. Even if you quadruple that number to account for a couple of weeks of convalescence, you don't come anywhere near 4,800.

    The INMO have outed themselves yesterday as a joke of an organisation. I appreciate that their role is represent and fight for nurses and midwives, but if you do that by making false claims and using fantasy numbers, you completely undermine your own legitimacy.

    How can we take INMO trolley counts seriously anymore? They have shown themselves willing to inflate covid numbers tenfold, why not trolley counts?
    plodder wrote: »
    It would be interesting to see what the weekly case numbers are for health-care workers. Since we were all caught on the hop with the PPE issue, it's likely to expect that numbers were very high at the start. But, we are spending an astronomical sum on PPE now. If we are spending at a rate of 1 billion a year, then is the USA (pop 65 times us) spending 65 billion? I doubt it. The INMO seem to be playing hardball politically. I heard the anecdote about a worker being sent home for using a mask. It doesn't sound good out of context, but presumably PPE had to be prioritised in the early days, and there should be enough of it now.
    The HPSC pulled it all together here:
    https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/surveillance/covid-19casesinhealthcareworkers/COVID-19_HCW_weekly_report_19062020_v1.0%20for%20website.pdf

    You are correct that the big numbers came at the start, when PPE was an issue.

    Interestingly, the number of HCW within the INMO's scope who contracted Covid, is 4804. I wonder is this an epic mistake on their part - where they were told that 60% of those infected are INMO members, they instead heard that 60% were still out sick.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,635 ✭✭✭ plodder


    seamus wrote: »
    Hard to know how to read that. The percentage of HCW cases seems pretty high all the way through, only really reducing from the middle of May.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 11,205 Mod ✭✭✭✭ hmmm


    This stat is meaningless as I understand it - the number of HCW infected versus the number of total cases?

    If we had way more community transmission, the percentage of HCW infected would fall. So a worse outbreak would lead to a better outcome if you take this at face value?

    E.g. if we only had one person infected in the entire country, and that person was a HCW - we'd have a super-high percentage of 100%. If we had a worse outbreak with 100 people infected and only one HCW - 1%

    It's grossly misleading.


  • Registered Users Posts: 506 ✭✭✭ radiotrickster


    seamus wrote: »
    Also the claim that 4,800 HCW are out sick with Covid. Considering the official number of active Covid cases in Ireland today (across the entire population) is 2,700, either thousands of HCW are telling porkies and lazing around on sick leave without being sick, or the INMO is pulling figures from their holes.

    As far as I understand it, a lot of staff who were high risk reported having symptoms to take time off work. One colleague of mine lives with a high-risk partner and has said she still won't be back until the end of July at the earliest. Not sure how they're getting away with it as other colleagues with higher risks (e.g. cystic fibrosis) are back and all at this stage.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20 kevd2000


    The HSE / public health spout an awful lot of hypocrisy. 1000 interns started in the system at the start of May. They were not tested before starting. If this is indicative of the internal risk control processes of the HSE it is little wonder that health care professionals got infected. Huge cost is being imposed on business to kit out their offices before people can return to work however in the hospitals where the risks are high, multiple nurses and doctors share computers in cramped offices. The Public health officials need to follow their own advice and take a little more responsibility for their actions.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 12,453 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Amirani


    The numbers used yesterday by the INMO were completely false, and by miles. It's completely shameful.

    That's before even looking at how ridiculous the stat they used was - HCW infections as a percentage of lab confirmed positives. The Netherlands has a higher rate than us, so that's also wrong. The metric itself is nonsense because of confounding factors - what population are being tested and to what level.

    UK have had hundreds of healthcare worker deaths, and apparently Ireland is worst in the world.

    Then she uses the total number of INMO staff currently out sick as the number "still out sick with Covid". Shocking.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,550 ✭✭✭ ShineOn7


    Amirani wrote: »
    Then she uses the total number of INMO staff currently out sick as the number "still out sick with Covid". Shocking.


    Where did you see that?

    So 60% of them aren't out sick from Covid recovery?


  • Registered Users Posts: 40 clairevoyant


    What ever happened to all the Irish Doctors and Nurses that came home from every corner of the world during lockdown 1??? At one stage we were told they returned in their thousands and we nearly had to clap for them - even though some were coming from countries of high infection rates at the time

    Why are nurses and Doctors allowed roam around hospitals in the scrubs they wear in a ward?! One consultant walked maskless into a clerical area of my local hospital where my sister works and she nearly had a conniption but you don’t dare tell Them to go away basically

    Can’t for the life of me understand why healthcare workers - especially those on covid wards were allowed home where they’ve been supposedly taking their clothes off at the front door or back door and putting them straight into the washing machine - they shouldn’t be even wearing their work clothes or scrubs out of the hospital- they should change when they get in and before they come home and all scrubs should be sent to laundry in the hospital. However Iv spotted several HCWs wandering around the supermarket in their work gear

    Local hotel opened its door at Stephens night in a certain county and the vast majority of patrons were Garda members, teachers and nurses - every second person in that town is now flitthered with covid and at LEAST 2 people have died from it - if the level of selfishness from those who are whingeing on a constant level for help and better pay and more money wasn’t so pi** boilingly annoying - you could almost muster a wry smile


  • Registered Users Posts: 642 ✭✭✭ john_doe.


    What ever happened to all the Irish Doctors and Nurses that came home from every corner of the world during lockdown 1??? At one stage we were told they returned in their thousands and we nearly had to clap for them - even though some were coming from countries of high infection rates at the time

    Why are nurses and Doctors allowed roam around hospitals in the scrubs they wear in a ward?! One consultant walked massless into a clerical area of my local hospital where my sister works and she nearly had a conniption but you don’t dare tell Them to go away basically

    Can’t for the life of me understand why healthcare workers - especially those on covid wards were allowed home where they’ve been supposedly taking their clothes off at the front door or back door and putting them straight into the washing machine - they shouldn’t be even wearing their work clothes or scrubs out of the hospital- they should change when they get in and before they come home and all scrubs should be sent to laundry in the hospital. However Iv spotted several HCWs wandering around the supermarket in their work gear

    Local hotel opened its door at Stephens night in a certain county and the vast majority of patrons were Garda members, teachers and nurses - every second person in that town is now flitthered with covid and at LEAST 2 people have died from it - if the level of selfishness from those who are whingeing on a constant level for help and better pay and more money wasn’t so pi** boilingly annoying - you could almost muster a wry smile

    What an idiotic post. Quiet possibly the stupidest post I've ever seen on boards.

    Numberous HCW I know - with asthma, and other conditions all working through pandemic. They go into work every day with risk of Covid. Most of them give u the same answer if u ask them why they do this
    "If I don't , who will"

    I hope u get the care you deserve if you ever find your selve needing medical services..


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