Doctors and nurses at Galway Clinic still waiting for vaccine

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galway daily news INMO calls for healthcare workers to get vaccine booster shots

Consultant Cardiologist Brendan O’Cochlain has said that doctors and nurses at the Galway Clinic still haven’t received the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

Speaking on Nuacht a hAon on Raidió na Gaeltachta on Tuesday, Dr O’Cochlain said that just 50 doses of the vaccine was given to the entire hospital last week.

“A lot of doctors and nurses still haven’t been vaccinated,” he said.

“It was given to doctors in the A&E and ICU, and to nurses on one floor where the majority of the UCHG patients are. But there are many doctors and nurses who have yet to receive it, and we haven’t been given a date as yet either.”

Speaking to Bríd Ní Chualáin about the New Surge Agreement, Dr O’Cochlain said that he could understand the caution of private hospitals like the Beacon in Dublin about entering into an agreement to provide beds to the HSE.

“I can understand – because what happened last time in the Galway Clinic and other private hospitals, there were  only about 30% of beds in use for three months,” said Dr O’Cochlain.

“I wasn’t able to carry out any operations for three months… other doctors who do orthopaedics, they couldn’t either.

“A lot of patients were waiting – and the HSE was only using maybe 20 or 30 beds out of 150 at the Galway Clinic.”

Dr O’Cochlain said that he has a lot of patients, some of whom have been coming to him for many years and he couldn’t provide care for them.

He said that the Beacon Hospital just wanted to ensure with this new arrangement with the HSE that that it didn’t happen again.

During the first wave, Dr O’Cochlain had to send patients to University Hospital Galway if they had any difficulties, despite the fact that UHG wasn’t operating fully as normal during that period.