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People should still attend hospital A&E services if urgent medical care is needed

Some patients may be leaving it too late for what could be life-saving treatment.

Doctors are warning people who may have a serious illness not to stay away from A and E departments due to coronavirus fears.

All emergency departments are operating, but doctors say some patients are waiting too late for what could be live-saving treatment.

Dr.Mick Molloy, from Wexford General Hospital, says patients should not avoid A and E if they think they need urgent medical care.

“We wanted to get a clear message out there that our emergency departments are still open”, he says.

“In most cases, there is a streaming pattern so that people who have the potential to have Covid disease are moved to one area. People who have other standard background emergency issues are treated in a separate area so that the two groups shouldn’t be mixing.”

You can still contact your GP

Meanwhile, the Irish College of General Practitioners is expressing concern that patients with chronic diseases like heart disease may not be contacting their GP as usual.

It’s urging them to call their GP if they’re unwell, despite the Covid-19 restrictions, who will perform an assessment over the phone.

It’s reassuring the public their General Practitioner remains open to help them with their non-COVID-19 medical concerns, as well as coronavirus symptoms.

It says a patient delaying consultation with their GP may subsequently lead to a more serious clinical issue.