A Sligo medical expert has spoken of suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after receiving death threats arising from his work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He has also claimed that healthcare workers are no longer safe in their work environments.
Dr Mike Ryan head of emergencies at the World Health Organisation, a veteran of many international war zones, said ‘he has never been as worried for his safety as during the pandemic’.
The Curry native expressed his concern about the state of the health workforce worldwide, describing the proportion of staff suffering PTSD after the pandemic as “horrifying”.
He told an online seminar organised by University College Cork that he probably has PTSD himself and outlined episodes of having received death threats been shouted at.
Dr Ryan who has worked in the most extreme situations, in Afghanistan and Iraq, said he had never been as scared for his own safety as he was during Covid.
Describing the perception that healthcare workers are no longer safe as “real”, he said he had never experienced as many health workers being threatened and abused, as the standard of discourse in society drops.
He added that while ordinary people had a “deep gratitude” for healthcare workers’ efforts, there were those seeking to destroy any attempts of communities coming together.
Dr Ryan also dismissed the notion that the Covid-19 pandemic is over he claims that health services and their staff are ill-prepared to deal with any recurrence of mass infections.