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Covid-19 'unmasked' existing problems in Irish healthcare

The Irish health services did “relatively well” during Covid-19 but, as in other countries, the pandemic unmasked existing problems, a renowned patient safety expert has said.

Peter Lachman of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI), was one of nine international experts who consulted on a new World Health Organization (WHO) report on the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic for patient safety.

Dr Lachman said the impact is only starting to be understood.

“Ireland did very well early on [in the pandemic], then opened up over Christmas [2020] which led to our numbers going sky-high, then we clamped down again,” he said.

"We did well on some things and not so well on others. We have done relatively well when compared with other countries." 

“Covid-19 was an event which around the world unmasked problems which were there already rather than creating them necessarily,” he said.

“The findings start with safety problems — we’ve had safety problems in Ireland but things are getting better.  There is a good strategy coming on. I’ve worked with hospitals around the country on this. It’s no worse than other countries.”

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Source: The Irish Examiner, 12 August 2022


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