Both the IMO and the British Medical Association (BMA) in Northern Ireland have expressed “grave concern” as to the impact of the pandemic on their respective health services in terms of Covid care and the delay on non-Covid care.
They have called on the Irish Government and Northern Ireland Executive to have greater co-operation in terms of public health measures.
“If there are different restrictions, north and south, it is the border areas that suffer,” said Dr Tom Black, BMA Northern Ireland Council chair. He also highlighted that “the areas with the highest infection rates are often in the border areas.”
Dr Denis McCauley, Chair of the IMO GP Committee, said “greater co-operation is essential if we are to protect the public, reduce transmissions and infections and ultimately save lives.”
Both organisations agreed that the Covid pandemic “has had a tremendous impact on our already overstretched frontline staff and caused unprecedented pressures on our health systems; both of which were already unfit for purpose prior to the emergence of Covid”.
“Key to coming out of this pandemic safely and sustainably is the need for both jurisdictions to invest in our respective public health services and in particular support and value the essential role of public health medicine,” the organisations said in a joint statement
Both organisations expressed their gratitude to doctors and other healthcare workers during the pandemic.