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Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: Just the numbers.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: That is surprising given the numbers are so low. I would have thought there would have been information on that. I want to move on to the membership of the strategic advisory group. There are 16 people on it, 15 of whom are doctors, along with one press and communications person. What is surprising is that there are no nurses on that advisory group. Why is that the case?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: No, I am not. I am referring to the membership of the strategic advisory group.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: Okay. Does Dr. Browne think it would it benefit from the presence of nurses?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: Okay. I want to get back to the question of the number of doses that are available. As I said, I welcome the fact that people can now self-identify their risk. What happens then when the current availability runs out? The HSE is saying it has 6,000 doses, at best, at the moment, and that the target is up to 13,000. What happens then? When does the HSE expect that to happen in the...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: The HSE's estimate is that up to 13,000 people would benefit.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: I wish to return to the interim guidelines from September 2021 on the management of long Covid. Who was responsible for drawing those up?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: Okay. What kind of specialties do those guidelines cover and what is the relative importance of each of those?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: Would the witnesses accept that pulmonary complications have largely gone now as a result of the Omicron variant taking over and people being vaccinated?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: Arising from the events of the last year, a decision was taken to establish six long Covid clinics. What consultants are attached to those clinics? I refer to both the number and the specialty.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: How many of those are there?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: Okay. What other specialists are there?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: I am talking about the specific long Covid clinics. I am not talking about other services in the hospitals. Dr. Ní Bhriain says each clinic has an infectious diseases expert. What is the situation with cardiologists, for example?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: How many cardiologists are there?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: What about neurologists?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: How many consultants?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: Who was responsible for selecting those locations?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: It is very hard to understand what has happened with the Mater hospital, which opened the first long Covid clinic and has been operating it since June 2020, has published several articles about Covid and did a very detailed study on long Covid that involved 155 patients. That clinic has built up extraordinary expertise - much more expertise, it could be argued, than any other hospital - and...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: I thought Dr. Ní Bhriain said her team selected the sites.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Long Covid and Monkeypox: Discussion (12 Oct 2022)

Róisín Shortall: How much importance does her team attach to neurological complications as a result of long Covid?

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