Hospitals today are seeing an increase in patient referrals by GPs ahead of the break in lab strikes

Hospital emergency rooms are seeing a spike in patient referrals from GPs today ahead of tomorrow’s strike by medical laboratory scientists that will cause significant disruption.

Medical laboratory scientists, represented by the MLSA union, will stage a 12-hour strike from 8am to 8pm in protest at pay and vacancies, which is a key to analyzing patient test results.

A spokeswoman for the HSE said there would be significant disruption and service delays at hospitals tomorrow.

“This will result in the cancellation of many inpatient and outpatient elective procedures and outpatient hospital appointments across the country.

“All routine GP testing services will be suspended on that day.

“Some limited services will continue, but unfortunately there will be widespread disruption to patients.”

She said hospital emergency departments are already seeing the knock-on effect of this move, as GPs cannot send routine lab tests to hospitals and instead have had to refer patients directly to emergency departments.

“This is causing delays for patients with non-urgent care needs and such delays are expected to continue tomorrow.

“The HSE continues to seek further exemptions in relation to patients in hospitals and for priority areas on Wednesday.

“Emergency departments will continue, as always, to prioritize treating the sickest and most urgent patients.”

Since yesterday, hospitals have been reaching out to patients directly to cancel appointments.

The HSE said appointments and procedures disrupted by the strikes will be rescheduled as soon as possible. Hospitals today are seeing an increase in patient referrals by GPs ahead of the break in lab strikes

Fry Electronics Team

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