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The Dean of the RCPI Faculty of Occupational Medicine, Dr Robert Ryan, has confirmed to the Medical Independent
(MI) that “concerns” have been expressed to the Faculty by some “senior” occupational medicine specialists about
HSE national guidance on Covid-19 control measures to mitigate infection risk and protect staff in healthcare settings.
Dr Ryan informed MI he is communicating with “stakeholders” on these matters. This newspaper understands some specialists have strongly argued for additional measures, as well as swifter updates to national guidance for healthcare settings throughout the pandemic. Wider use of respirator masks and greater emphasis on ventilation are among the issues that have been raised.
“In response to some concerns from some senior occupational health physicians about the issue of mitigation measures, I am at the moment in a process of dialogue with other stakeholders… so that this concern is given sufficient exploration,” stated Dr Ryan, Specialist in Occupational Medicine and Managing Partner at Medmark.
In regard to protecting healthcare staff from workplace-acquired infection, Dr Ryan, who does not personally work in the HSE, said his observation was that the Executive had instigated a wide range of control measures.
“It seemed to me they reorganised the workplace, the working practices, they brought in the appropriate mitigation measures, provided the necessary equipment in terms of personal protection, to try and protect healthcare workers.” However, the guidance should remain under constant scrutiny, he said.
More broadly, when asked if the Faculty could be more vocal on occupational health matters during the pandemic,
Dr Ryan said “perhaps in retrospect we could have done more”
See news feature, Covid control: What next for healthcare staff? – Medical Independent