PPE is essential for frontline services in the fight against Covid-19
In addition, the Sinn Féin TD is calling on the Government to provide alternative accommodation to frontline staff during the ongoing emergency.
Tipperary Sinn Féin TD, Martin Browne, has called on the Minister for Health to speed up the procurement of fit for purpose, essential Personal Protective Equipment for frontline staff working in hospitals, nursing homes and other essential frontline services at the height of the coronovirus having claimed that Irish suppliers willing to provide PPE have not heard back from the HSE, despite having made an offer.
In addition, he is calling on the Government to provide alternative accommodation to frontline staff during the ongoing emergency.
Deputy Browne is aware of the difficulties the current Covid-19 crisis is causing for all those working in ensuring healthcare services are available to people. He also acknowledges the hard work of Minister Simon Harris and other government ministers.
"However, at present we have a situation where frontline staff in our hospitals are now fearful every time they go home, especially those with young children and older relatives living with them, due to the lack of appropriate PPE available to them during their working hours. Some of these frontline workers have been in touch with me, with some even outlining they are prepared to sleep in their cars just to protect their families," Deputy Browne said.
Above: Deputy Martin Browne
In addition, while there are ongoing efforts to procure PPE from China, Deputy Browne has been contacted by suppliers in Ireland who have tried to offer PPE to the HSE and are yet to have heard back from them.
With the quality issues seen in some PPE from China to date and with the reduced lead-time of sourcing PPE from Irish based suppliers, Deputy Browne has also contacted Minister Simon Harris to ask the Minister to avail of PPE which is currently available in Ireland.
Deputy Browne also stated that the lack of response from the Department for Health and HSE to Irish based suppliers that have PPE stock on hand is not acceptable given the current lack of PPE in the Irish healthcare system, and the fact that many Irish businesses find themselves in difficult situations at present given the economic impact of Covid-19. He is calling on the Department for Health and HSE to engage with local Irish suppliers in the procurement of PPE as a matter of urgency.
With the conditions and workload these frontline staff have been faced with over the past few weeks, and will continue to be faced with in the foreseeable future, Deputy Browne believes this is the least our government should do for them. And, has also requested that the Minister for Health avail of rooms in now closed hotels for use by these workers. They are doing all they can to protect our communities and deserve all supports possible to be made available to them.
Deputy Browne would also like to give his utmost thanks to the frontline workers in our Healthcare service, retail sector, cleaning services sector, supply chain, Local Authorities and logistics sectors and all other frontline services that are ensuring essential services are continuing to be operated.