1,000 doctors take part in an online symposium on Covid-19 hosted at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Supporting our doctors is the priority

1,000 doctors participated in a special online symposium on Covid-19, hosted by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Institute of Medicine and the Infectious Diseases Society of Ireland on Wednesday evening.

The online event provided clinical updates on diagnosis, treatment and management of Covid-19 for frontline medical professionals in Ireland.

Professor Mary Horgan, President of the Royal College of Ireland said that supporting doctors at the frontline is the priority

Our priority at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland is providing supports to our doctors who are working at the frontline of this crisis. This symposium is the first of a regular series of educational updates on Covid-19 that the College will provide for doctors. This is a new infection and it is vital that new information is shared in a timely, consistent manner to those who are caring for patients with Covid-19 and managing the medical response, so that we have the best chance of controlling the infection and providing critical information to the public.

Prof Mary Horgan

President, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Up-skilling doctors to care for those who are infected by Covid-19

The College is assisting in up-skilling staff- those coming out of retirement, coming home from abroad, and others that may be required to work in an area outside of their own specialty, so that the skills will be there to manage those people who are infected when things get worse.”

The Covid-19 symposium was organised by Professor Anthony O’Regan, Dean of the Institute of Medicine, and Dr Catherine Fleming, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and National Specialty Director of Infectious Diseases, RCPI and included presentations from experts in infectious diseases, public and occupational health who are leading our national response, including,

  • Prof Colm Henry- Chief Clinical Officer, HSE
  • Prof Colm Bergin, Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases, St James’s Hospital, Dublin and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin.
  • Dr Cillian De Gascun, Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory and Chair of the HSE’s Coronavirus Expert Advisory Group.
  • Dr Aoife Coffer, Consultant in Infectious Diseases at the Mater Misericordiae and St Vincent’s University Hospitals.
  • Dr Lynda Sisson, Dean of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.
  • Dr Fiona Cianci, Specialist Registrar in Public Health Medicine.
  • Dr John Bates, Joint Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine

The presentations are being shared with all other medical training bodies today and they will make it available to their members.

Social distancing crucial to stop the spread of infection

Prof Horgan explained the power and importance of social distancing on RTE’s Morning Ireland,

One person with Covid-19 could infect 400 people over 30 days.We must exercise social distancing- science shows that social distancing is one of the best things that we can do to protect the vulnerable. We know that those that are very vulnerable, if they self-isolate, the risk of contracting the disease is very low. But it is so important for those people to stay connected with others- they need to eat properly, talk to people and have the necessary supports. There is expansion in the number of test centres throughout the country- a big increase in the hospitals that can provide testing- therefore turnaround times will be reduced. Healthcare professionals should be prioritised-we need them on the frontline, we need them to care for those infected and to reassure members of the public who may not be affected.

Prof Mary Horgan