More than 50 long-Covid healthcare workers on the move

According to figures released by the Health Service Executive, 57 long-Covid healthcare workers were on paid leave last month.

Figures show 270 staff were out of work during the Covid-19 paid leave and 57 of them had been absent for three months or more with symptoms of Long Covid. The HSE defines long Covid as symptoms lasting more than three months.

The figures are in line with claims of a rise in long Covid cases by independent TD Denis Naughten, based on his calculation that up to 336,000 people in Ireland are likely to have the disease. He claimed the number of people affected could range from more than 100,000 in Dublin to 2,075 in Leitrim.

Mr Naughten based his calculation on research published in the medical journal The lancetwhich found that 12.7 per cent of people who have contracted Covid-19 have symptoms of long Covid and HSE research that 69 per cent of the population here may have been infected.

Mr Naughten said last week that a surge in long Covid patients could “overwhelm our hospitals” and “bring the healthcare system to its knees”.

However, some GPs suggest the increase has not manifested itself. Michael Kelleher, a GP in Lahinch last week questioned the veracity of claims that 8,300 people in Clare could have long been ill with Covid.

Denis McCauley, chair of the Irish Medical Organization’s GP Committee, told the Sunday independent In his practice in Donegal he has not experienced a spate of cases.

“We are seeing some people, including some from our own profession, who have been suffering from Covid for a long time. Fortunately, in my clinical experience, the numbers are not huge, but they are very significant for those suffering from this serious condition,” he said.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization, which is in talks with the government to reintroduce the extra payment for long-sick Covid healthcare workers, said last month up to 200 nurses and healthcare workers have been diagnosed with long-suffering Covid.

The special Covid payment scheme was cut early last month to cover the required seven-day Covid-19 isolation period. More than 50 long-Covid healthcare workers on the move

Fry Electronics Team

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