Professor Mary Horgan writes: These are extraordinary times for those of us working on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.
RCPI is home to the national professional bodies for many of the specialties most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are well positioned to play a key role in Ireland's response to this rapidly evolving crisis. I have been invited to join a newly established Medical Leaders Forum, convened by the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan. This Forum will be centred around information, planning and response to COVID-19 for senior leaders in the clinical community.
The outcome for Ireland from this new virus will be largely influenced by the actions we take now-the actions that we take as individuals, as a community and as a wider society. We have strong evidence from China and South Korea that social distancing works, along with awareness of infection control measures as recommended by the Department of Health.
We will keep in touch with you as new information and advice becomes available.
I know that those of you who are working on the frontline will do everything you can to support patients, the public, and your colleagues over the coming weeks. I urge you to also take steps to protect your own wellbeing during this difficult time.
Prof Mary Horgan is the first female President in the 360 year history of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. She is in her second term as President of the College. She is a Consultant in Infectious Diseases and practices on the frontline in University College Cork in the South of Ireland. She is former Dean of the School of Medicine in UCC. She currently serves on our National Immunisation Advisory Committee and our National Public Health Emergency Team – which advises the Irish Government on public health issues during this pandemic. She is also Chair of the National Research Ethics Committee. She also trained in the US where she worked in St Louis from 1990-1997.