| 17.2°C Dublin

Anger as private staff get jab ahead of public workers

Close

Nurses were forced to plead with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly for vaccines

Nurses were forced to plead with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly for vaccines

Nurses were forced to plead with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly for vaccines

Staff at a private diagnostic clinic were vaccinated before public healthcare workers, it has emerged.

Vaccinations were given to staff working in Affidea clinic in Dublin last week while nurses in Nenagh Hospital in Tipperary were force to publicly plead with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly for vaccines.

Affidea, which charges patients up to €100 for X-rays and €260 for MRIs, did not respond to a request for comment on why their staff were vaccinated before public healthcare workers.

Scandalous

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly has said it is "scandalous" that private hospital staff have been vaccinated ahead of public healthcare workers.

Yesterday, Mr Donnelly finally broke his silence on the controversy saying his vaccination plan does not distinguish between private and public healthcare workers.

"The schedule is that frontline healthcare workers who are patient-facing are being prioritised," he said on Newstalk.

It emerged last week that staff in the exclusive Hermitage Medical Centre and Beacon Hospital had been vaccinated while other public healthcare workers were still waiting for jabs.

Some staff in the private Bon Secours hospital group were also vaccinated last week.

Yesterday, Dr Stephen Frohlich, head of intensive care at the Beacon Hospital, said almost 300 of their staff have been vaccinated.

"The Beacon is an acute hospital. We see 60 to 70 patients a day in the emergency department," he said.

"We are dealing with at least 100 surgeries a day on both public and private patients.

"It is only right for those patients who are coming in for surgery that the staff have been vaccinated.

Last week, in a video posted online, clinical nurse manager at Nenagh Hospital Louise Morgan Walsh asked why staff at the public hospital were being "left out" while staff at private hospitals got vaccinated.

"We are so angry, we are scared, we are afraid, we can see our co-workers going down with Covid and becoming very ill," she said.


Privacy