“EVERYONE is tired of coronavirus, but coronavirus is not tired of us yet.”
This is the message from the Omagh GPs who have been open throughout the pandemic and have been working tirelessly to help patients.
Since March, doctors across the county have been under extreme pressure managing Covid-19, and there is no sign of a let up as cases continue to rise in the North.
Despite the ongoing challenges, GPs at Three Spires Surgery in Omagh want to reassure patients that they “have been open throughout the pandemic and will continue to be open to assist patients with their medical conditions.”
A spokeswoman said, “We are fortunate in Omagh to be based in a first class facility with access to hospital based services who assist and support us.
“Throughout the pandemic, these teams have worked extremely hard to treat and support the patients of Omagh and surrounding areas.
“The practice managers of the four practices have led their teams with commitment and efficiency whilst dealing with unprecedented demands and changes.
“Lack of information and advice at the outset of the pandemic combined with a lack of PPE forced a massive workload onto the practices which the managers effectively dealt with.
“The practices have not reduced their service but instead are delivering an adapted model to ensure that the needs of patients are met.
“We thank our patients for their continued support and their ability to adapt to what has been an unprecedented era.
“We ask that you continue to contact the practice where you have a health concern and know that all staff are working in your best interests in keeping you safe from the virus.”
The pandemic has changed the GPs’ daily routine and has forced them to take on additional work with many doctors moved to work at the Covid assessment centre in Enniskillen.
The spokeswoman continued, “Since the beginning of the pandemic, the GPs have been working in the Covid assessment centre based at the South West Acute Hospital.
“The GPs volunteered for this work which included working after hours up to 10pm and at weekends.
“GPs do not normally work in hospitals but the Covid centres were initiated in an attempt to prevent A&E Departments being overwhelmed.”
Coupled with the ongoing pandemic, doctors are now facing into an extremely busy winter period as the flu season is predicted to be the busiest in modern memory.
Practices are currently putting a scheme in place to deal with the increasing demand for the flu vaccine and appointments.
The spokeswoman urged those in need of an appointment to be patient this winter.
“We face a winter of uncertainty but plans are being made to deliver the flu vaccine safely for an increased number of patients.
“We will advise patients in the next few weeks of how this will be delivered when we have confirmed dates for vaccine delivery.
“Despite a reduction in capacity, staff continue to provide an excellent service to the patients of Omagh and surrounding areas.
“We continue to experience huge demand due to the knock on effect of outpatient services restrictions as a result of the pandemic.
“We would ask for your patience as we move towards the winter,” the spokeswoman concluded.