Image via canva

The HSE’s chief clinical officer says ‘catastrophic’ conditions in hospitals this winter are not inevitable.

It’s feared a ‘twindemic’ of high Covid and flu case numbers could lead to further overcrowding in hospitals.

Earlier this week, the Health Minister Stephen Donnelly instructed the HSE to take steps to use all private hospital capacity available in the coming months.

The INMO says agreements with private providers need to be made early, as public hospitals wouldn’t be able to cope.

HSE Chief Clinical Officer, Colm Henry, says a ‘twindemic’ this winter is possible, but not certain:

“Yes, some trepidation  looking forward but by no means certain we’re going to see the catastrophic predictions some are making. Likewise, with Covid when we turn towards that we see the most extraordinarily transmissible version, the omicron, that everyone knows about over the past year.

The majority of the population will at this stage have been exposed in some form to omicron. We’re currently encouraging to build on that and get their booster if they’re 15 and over”