Retired health staff must be recalled for vaccine roll out – Naughten

In Disability, Education, Families, Health, News, Older People by Denis Naughten

Denis Naughten is strongly urging Government to utilise as many retired doctors and other health staff as possible during the rollout the Covid 19 vaccine programme rather than pulling existing health staff away from addressing huge backlogs created by the lockdowns. 


“We are already experiencing record breaking backlogs within our health system and the last thing we now need is front line staff being pulled away from addressing horrendous delays to run this important vaccination programme”


“Last Tuesday the HSE was exposed at the Dáil Committee on Children & Disabilty when evidence was presented that front line therapists such as speech therapists are not being redeployed from Covid testing & tracing back into their old jobs treating children, as relief staff are being recruited”. 


“This practice will lead to a situation where preschool children referred for speech and language services may not get support before their Holy Communion”.


“On Wednesday I pointed out that up to 2,400 people who are entitled to access to the disabled driver scheme which was suspended last June may have to wait a further six months for approval as HSE doctors are diverted to the Covid vaccination programme”


“And previously, I exposed the fact that 1,000’s of nurses and care staff who signed up for the ‘Be on call for Ireland’ campaign were not used by the HSE while front line staff from our hospitals had to be called in at short notice to help with nursing home Covid outbreaks. This posed a risk of infection in our hospitals and the postponement of surgery for those on waiting lists.”


“For some reason the HSE has failed to utilise retired staff, those who responded to the ‘Be on call for Ireland’ campaign and the Defence Forces capability until the very last moment and in this instance unless the Government directs the HSE to take such an approach to the vaccination programme, this will not happen”


“The thousands of people in pain and children waiting years for services will not thank this Government if it fails to act decisively and ensure that front line staff are left to focus on their responsibilities prior to Covid” concluded Denis Naughten.