HSE appealing to the public to help protect our hospitals and Emergency Departments over St Patrick’s Day and the bank holiday weekend

Number of patients with COVID-19 in our hospitals is increasing

–          As of today there are 1047 patients with COVID being treated in hospitals the highest number since 10th January 2022, when it was 1063.

St Patrick’s Day has always been a very busy day for Emergency Departments and given that this year we will have 2 bank holidays and a weekend together, the HSE is appealing to the public to consider all care options before attending our Emergency Departments, saving their use for those patients who need urgent and emergency care. for more Click here

More Infectious form of Omicron now Dominant as St Patrick’s Day Festival Begins (Irish Independent)

People enjoying the St Patrick’s Day festivities over the coming days are facing the risk of a more infectious form of the Omicron variant now dominant in Ireland, it emerged yesterday.

It is present in nine out of 10 cases of the virus as the four-day celebrations – dubbed a “double weekend” by the HSE – kick off today. Click Here for more

Philip Nolan plays down Covid rise which may be part of ‘exit wave’

More than 4,000 healthcare workers off due to Covid amid unprecedented hospital demand – Irish Times – for more Click here

New Freephone Number for Digital Covid Certificate inquiries added

Due to high demand on the existing Digital COVID Certificate freephone number, the government has created a second freephone number that will cater for a very significantly higher number of calls

For queries in relation to your Digital COVID Certificate, please call 1800 807 008

When calling from abroad, please dial +353 76 888 5513

The EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) is proof (in digital or paper format) that you have either:

  • been vaccinated against COVID-19 or
  • received a negative COVID-19 test result or
  • recovered from COVID-19 in the last 6 months

For More information click here

HSE Advice On Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

The HSE website has information for people traveling into Ireland and useful information on Symptoms, what to do if you are concerned, and who to contact. click here for more information.

Demand for GP Out of Hours peaks early this year.

Demand for GP Out of Hours peaks early this year.

Current demand for the D Doc GP out of hours service has reached peak winter levels in the first weekend of December. This usually happens over the Christmas and New Year holiday period. Dr Mel Bated, Medical Director of D Doc said “Patients should first seek an appointment with thier daytime GP, the D Doc out of hours service is for urgent care, especially for the elderly and the very young at this time of year.

“Patients are advised to consider self-care and first check out the very useful website under the www.undertheweather.ie and www.mychild.ie  , especially with winter illnesses such as coughs, colds, Earaches, flu, Rash, Temperature, sore throats and Tummy upset.

 please consider visiting the excellent advise websites My Child.ie and  UNDER THE WEATHER  

HSE advises everyone to consider Flu Vaccine

The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the 3 strains of flu virus recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the strains most likely to be circulating this season.

You should get your flu vaccination from September to be covered for flu season. The viruses change each year. This is why you need to get a new vaccine each year.

People 18 and over should get the vaccine from their GP or Pharmacist or Occupational Health Department. Younger people should get the vaccine from their GP.

The flu vaccine is free if you are in an at risk group but you may be charged a consultation fee, unless you have a medical card or a GP visit card.

The flu vaccine doesn’t contain any live viruses – it cannot give you the flu.

How it works

The flu vaccine helps your immune system to produce antibodies to the influenza virus. If you have been vaccinated and you come into contact with the virus, these antibodies will attack it and stop you from getting sick.

The flu vaccine starts to work within two weeks.

At-risk groups

We are urging people in at-risk groups to get the flu vaccine. We strongly recommended the vaccine if you:

  • are 65 years of age and over
  • are pregnant
  • have a long-term health condition
  • work in healthcare
  • are a carer
  • live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
  • in regular contact with pigs, poultry or water fowl

Don’t get the flu vaccine if you have had a severe allergic (anaphylaxis) reaction to a previous dose or any part of the vaccine.

Vaccination should be re-scheduled if you have an acute illness with a temperature greater than 38°C.

For more information click here.


Measles Outbreak in North Dublin

Measles outbreak in North Dublin

The HSE has advised that they are dealing with a Measles outbreak in North Dublin and that 13 cases have been confirmed since July.

Dr Ruth McDermott, public health doctor said: “Measles can be a serious illness and is highly infectious. The best protection is to be fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR vaccine.”

From the HSE website:

People at increased risk of getting measles are those who are not fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR vaccine or have not had measles in the past. The risk of measles remains for up to 21 days after contact with a case of measles.

If you think you may have measles, stay at home and phone your General Practitioner (GP) for advice.

People who are sick should not attend any congregated settings such as crèche, school, work or religious gatherings until they have recovered from illness. Actions taken to prevent further cases:

The Public Health Department has sent information on measles to all Emergency Departments and GPs in Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow to inform them of this measles outbreak.

The Public Health Department gives the following advice on the most effective measures to control the further spread of this potentially serious illness:

Vaccination with measles containing vaccine (MMR):

All children should get the MMR vaccine when they are aged 12 months. If any child aged over 12 months has missed this vaccine they should get it now from their GP.

All children should get a second dose of MMR vaccine when they are 4-5 years old.  This is usually given in Junior Infant Class at school. If a child has missed this second MMR vaccine they should get it now from their GP.

Adults under 40 years who have not had measles or have not received 2 doses of MMR vaccine should contact their GP to get the MMR vaccine.

Measles symptoms include:

High fever


Runny nose

Red eyes

Red rash that starts on head and spread down the body – this normally starts a few days after onset of illness. The rash consists of flat red or brown blotches, which can flow into each other. It lasts about 4-7 days

Vomiting, diarrhoea and tummy pain may also happen.

Measures to prevent the spread of measles if you think you may have measles:

1. Do not go to work, school or crèche or any congregate setting such as shopping centre/cinema etc.

2. Stay at home and phone your GP. Tell the doctor or nurse that you think you might have measles.

3. Stop visitors coming to your house to prevent the spread of measles.

4. Pregnant women who have been exposed to measles should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Risk of measles from international travel:

There are on-going outbreaks of measles in many countries in the European region and worldwide. Most of the cases in the EU in 2018 were reported from Romania, France, Greece, and Italy. Most people who get measles on holiday do not know they were exposed until they develop disease. Unrecognised exposures to measles have occurred at airports, on planes, at concerts, in shops and health care settings. In 2018, 31 deaths associated with measles have been reported in EU countries.

Advice for people travelling abroad:

Vaccination remains the most effective measure against infection. Children aged 6-11 months of age, travelling to other countries and regions where measles outbreaks are reported, are recommended MMR vaccine. This is an extra MMR vaccine. A dose given before 12 months of age does not replace the dose that would normally be given at 12 months of age.  Please note, if requesting the MMR for babies from 6-11 months to protect them while travelling, the vaccine itself will be free but there will be an administration fee to be paid to your GP for this vaccine (as it is a travel vaccine).”

Older children should be age appropriately vaccinated. Children who have missed their recommended doses should get the MMR vaccine from their GP.

Adults may be at risk of measles, particularly those under 40 years of age who have never had measles or two doses of a measles vaccine.

More about measles:

Measles is highly contagious and is spread easily. The time between exposure to measles and developing the rash is usually 14 days (range 7-21 days). People are infectious from four days before rash starts until four days after.

Complications of measles:

Measles can cause chest infections, fits (seizures), ear infections, swelling of the brain and/or damage to the brain. Measles is a notifiable disease and GPs and hospital clinicians should immediately notify Public Health if they suspect someone has measles. Last updated on: 22 / 08 / 2018

GPs Support Call From Ombudsman for Increased Mental Health Funding

Ombudsman’s report that 2,615 children are waiting to be seen by The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

“a continued failure by public bodies to put the best interests of children at the centre of their decisions.” – Ombudsman.

You can read the original article here and the following is the text of the letter published in the Irish Times on Monday June 18th:

Sir, – We are a group of GPs who practise in disadvantaged areas (deepend.ie), many of us for over 15 years. As GPs working with vulnerable children on a daily basis, we agree with the concerns outlined in the report of the Ombudsman for Children (“Ombudsman calls for increased mental health funding”, News, June 14th).

The communities we work in have a higher prevalence of mental health issues, particularly in children and adolescents, and we are extremely concerned about the current state of services across the whole spectrum, from prevention and early intervention, to treatment for severe mental illness.

The neglect of children suffering mental distress leads to untold damage in terms of education, employment prospects, criminality and future mental health.

There is no recognition of the need for resources to match the differing needs of local populations, leading to marked health inequalities, which can have a profound life-long impact. In many disadvantaged areas, the waiting time for child psychology services is excessive. In some areas, it is now over a year, and in the case of an acutely distressed child, this is completely unsafe and unacceptable.

In the current context of limited child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), it is vital that community services be vastly improved and easily accessible.

There is overwhelming international evidence that early intervention reduces future adverse outcomes and we need services resourced to address the needs of our most vulnerable citizens to ensure a brighter future for us all. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 8;


Dublin 8;


Dublin 15;


Dublin 15;




Dublin 5;


Dublin 5;


Dublin 1;




Dublin 1;


Dublin 5;




Dublin 5;


Dublin 11.


Study shows that Free Under 6 GP Care led to a Dramatic Increase in GP visits

“The number of children seen free of charge more than doubled to 10,824 during the year after the policy change”.

. The study published in the annals of family medicine by Dr Mike Callaghan and his colleagues (Department of Public Health and primary care, Trinity College Dublin) has found that offering free childhood general practice services led to a dramatic increase in visits. There was a25% increase in daytime and out of hours visits. The article says that the increase has implications for future healthcare service planning and mixed public and private funded systems.

The study focused on an eight daytime general practice services in the local out of hours services – Northdoc and on a detailed study of the patient use of the Northdoc out of hours service –D Doc.

Northdoc offers urgent general practice services out of hours to the population of North Dublin (pop 550 K). The service covers over 140 practices (250 GPs).

The study showed that 9,898 children aged under six made approximately 15,000 visits the general practice out of hour’s service in the period before the policy change, and 11,890 children made 8958 visits in the period after. This difference the case to a 20.1% more children seen at least once and 25.7% more visits in the latter.

The number of children seen free of charge more than doubled to 10,824 during the year after the policy change.

Dr Mel Bates, Medical Director of Northdoc said “I want to congratulate Dr O’Callaghan and his colleagues for this essential piece of work. The Government and the department of health need to look closely at this report. General practice, both in and out of hours simply cannot continue to expand to meet demand without more GPs in the community and proper funding. ”

You can link to the full article here