It’s a startling statistic.
As Ireland’s brave medical and healthcare staff battle Covid-19 on the front line, new figures reveal the reality of the daily risks they face at work.
According to HSE figures obtained by the Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation, nearly one in ten (9.2%) of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ireland are nurses.
There are now 13,271 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland, with 629 new cases confirmed on Thursday.
The INMO breakdown of the latest figures shows that 883 nurses, 445 healthcare assistants, 639 allied healthcare workers, 287 doctors and 37 porters are among these cases.
The organisation, which represents 40,000 nurses and midwives across Ireland, has called for an urgent investigation into the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) after it was revealed that healthcare workers had been able to find their own PPE items when the hospitals that employ them said that the items were not available.
One nurse successfully ordered 2,000 protective masks form a local supplier when there was none made available for staff at an Irish hospital.
The INMO is asking for a universal face mask policy for all its workers as well as more detailed reporting on Covid-19 infections among healthcare staff.
If you are a healthcare worker and you would like to report PPE problems in your workplace, INMO members can raise the issue directly with their workplace INMO rep or call or text the INMO’s PPE freephone hotline on 1800 320 087, or text 087 719 7188. This number is staffed between 8:30am and 8pm, seven days a week.