SIPTU members working at Shannondoc in Clare say they’re ‘overwhelmed’ due to current demands on the service.
Clare County Council is set to write to the out-of-hours GP service to ask for an explanation behind delays over Christmas, though it’s understood Shannondoc received as many as 12,500 calls in one day during the festive period.
The union is claiming only locum doctors worked shifts over Christmas, though Shannondoc disputes this, and says it provided 2,280 consultations provided between December 24th and 27th.
Clare saw a 49 percent increase in the number of doctor consultations provided to patients between December 24th and 27th compared to the same days the year prior.
A Shannondoc spokesperson stated: “The Christmas period is always ShannonDoc’s busiest, with additional doctors and nurses rostered to deal with the increase in patient volumes. This year, the out-of-hours service rostered more doctors than previous years, with a 30% increase in medical manpower on duty.
“However, the patient surge across the Christmas period is thus far unprecedented, with patient volumes contacting the service amounting to almost three times more than last year’s levels. On one day alone, over 12,500 inbound calls were made to the ShannondDoc switch board. These are incredible numbers which amount to almost one month of calls in just one day.”
Mark Quinn of SIPTU’s Health Division in the Midwest region says the closure of regional services is having a significant impact on staff.
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