CMO ‘extremely concerned’ at health service pressures

Date published: 21 December 2022

NI’s Chief Medical Officer has emphasised the vital importance of vaccination to help our health and social care system get through this winter.

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Professor Sir Michael McBride warned of the potential for health care to be further destabilised by an increase in flu cases and a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.

“I am extremely concerned. The health service is extremely fragile and an extraordinary effort by staff has been required for many months up to now.

“We will all need to play our part in supporting our staff get through the coming weeks. We, the public, need to get our flu and COVID-19 vaccines, to protect ourselves, others and the health service from potential surges from these viruses.

“If you need urgent help then our health service is here for you, but we do need to use it wisely; and I ask everyone to work with hospital teams to support the discharge of your relatives when their medical care is complete.

“I cannot recall a time when concerns across the health and social care system were at this level. This winter will be about providing the best care we can, minimising harm and supporting staff while yet again they take the strain.

“We also need sustained action for the longer-term including recurrent, significant investment and greater reconfiguration of services. Patients and staff will keep paying the price if this does not happen.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email
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  3. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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