HSE distances itself from senior doctor's criticism of Covid restrictions 1 month ago

HSE distances itself from senior doctor's criticism of Covid restrictions

"Relying on infection, as we now know, has the power to overwhelm healthcare systems and lead to large-scale illness and death, particularly in vulnerable populations."

The Health Service Executive has released a statement saying it "dissociates itself from and rejects" comments made by a senior doctor who said that Covid-19 is less severe than the flu and that draconian measures are no longer required to contain its spread.

Dr Martin Feeley, who is Clinical Director of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, made the comments to the Irish Times.

He said the restrictions introduced by the government in March were “totally acceptable and justifiable” but this was no longer the case considering what we now know about the virus.

Dr Feeley also suggested that Ireland should be attempting to achieve herd immunity by exposing those at low risk to the virus.

However, the HSE has disassociated itself from the comments and said it rejects them.

Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer for the HSE said on Saturday afternoon: “For the avoidance of any doubt, the position as stated by Dr Feeley in the Irish Times today is not the position of the HSE on this important subject.”

Responding to Dr Feeley's comments surrounding herd immunity, Dr Henry said this approach places huge strain on a health system and can eventually lead to mass death if the health system is overwhelmed.

“Herd immunity for an infectious disease occurs when a sufficient proportion of the population develops a sustained immunity either through vaccination or previous infection," Dr Henry said.

"Relying on infection, as we now know, has the power to overwhelm healthcare systems and lead to large-scale illness and death, particularly in vulnerable populations."

The World Health Organisation has said the threshold for achieving herd immunity is not yet clear, while the period of immunity post infection is not known.