‘Can I go to the pub?’ HSE helpline’s thirsty callers

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Email:

fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

‘Can I go to the pub?’ HSE helpine’s thirsty callers

The HSE helpline has been receiving a large number of calls from people asking whether it is ok to party

THIRSTY members of the public had contacted the emergency HSE helpline in Limerick, to ask whether they should go on stags or go to the pubs amid one of the worst pandemics in living memory.

The Mid-West HSE helpline has a staff of around 12 clinical and health experts, who are able to assist concerned members of the public, particularly if they have been a close or casual contact of a confirmed case.

It operates seven days a week, from 10am to 5pm, and fields in the region of 1,000 calls per day in order to deal with the increasing demand of the Covid-19 crisis.

However, not everyone got the memo that the service was for genuine issues of concern. As it’s understood a large number of people contacted the Limerick-based helpline asking if it was okay to go to the pub or go on an organised stag party.

People can also contact their GP if they feel they have symptoms and require a test. 

The HSE is continuously developing its systems to manage all GP requests via a central portal, Health Link. 

This portal will allow for direct access for GPs to refer patients for testing and also allow the demand to be managed in a safe manner. At present the HSE is experiencing unprecedented demand on the system and are working to ensure the system is in a position to manage this and projected demand going forward.

People who are not registered with a GP can contact any GP. However, this does not apply if you are currently registered with a GP already. To contact the Mid-West helpline, contact 1890 300046.