HSE boss asks public to "be kind" to healthcare staff over "uncertain period"
"They are under significant pressure at this point in time."
Paul Reid has asked the Irish public to be mindful of healthcare staff over the busy Christmas period.
The HSE CEO made the comments during a press conference on Wednesday (22 December).
"I'd like to make three very public messages, and especially to the general public overall, as we face into this uncertain period ahead," he said.
"The first one is please do be conscious that the protective actions that you will take and you have taken now not only protect yourself and your family, but they also have a very significant impact in terms of protecting our healthcare workers, who we really need at work.
"The second thing I would say is that whether you're attending a vaccination centre for your booster or a testing centre for your PCR swab or indeed one of our healthcare settings, please be kind to our healthcare staff.
"They are under significant pressure at this point in time.
"And thirdly, I'd like to point that our hospitals are there if you need urgent care. They will continue to be there if you need urgent care, but they will be extremely busy, and there will be delayed times over Christmas and the New Year period.
"So if you really need urgent care, our emergency department is there," Reid continued.
"If you don't really need urgent care, please seek care through the other healthcare mechanisms that are there, but obviously don't delay your care if it is urgent," he concluded.
The Government has ramped up the booster rollout in the past few days, with Tuesday's vaccination figures representing the highest to date since they were first rolled out.
108,000 vaccines were given on Tuesday (21 December), with 103,000 of them being boosters.
1.77 million booster and third dose vaccines have so far been administered in Ireland.
Featured image via Leah Farrell / Photocall Ireland / RollingNews.ie