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'Honest discussion' call from Highland GP as Covid-19 crisis hits health staff, hospitals and businesses

By Hector MacKenzie

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GP Dr Ross Jaffrey at the launch of the Safe Hands Saves Lives campaign back in 2020. Picture: Callum Mackay
GP Dr Ross Jaffrey at the launch of the Safe Hands Saves Lives campaign back in 2020. Picture: Callum Mackay

THE serious impact of the latest wave of Covid-19 on hospital admissions and businesses' ability to function has prompted calls for "a very honest discussion" in the coming year.

The Safe Hands, Saves Lives group started by Highland GP Dr Ross Jaffrey has been providing daily updates on the Covid-19 situation and offering valuable advice from a medical perspective.

Although there is no local level data posted over the weekend, the number of Covid cases logged yesterday across Scotland was put at 12,062 with the milestone of the millionth case recorded also marked in recent days.

The country has reported a total of 1,037,125 positive coronavirus test results since March 2020, the month of the first lockdown.

Dr Jaffrey today posted: "Case levels remain high and admissions are creeping up.

Covid is crippling many businesses' ability to function. Hospitals (are) under very real pressure and we will be lucky to see much elective (non-urgent) services through January.

"Less staff (are) looking after more patients, the non-Covid burden is enormous as people get sicker, frailer and are discharged from hospital more rapidly, to make space for those more unwell than them.

"This is a crisis. We should be doing everything we can to retain staff we already have. As the weeks go on, a very honest discussion is needed as to what can and cannot be done in 2022/23 from our leadership."

He continued: "Try your best to keep your local shops going. Perhaps after this wave people can revisit work nights out in March to help local hospitality.

“'Christ-march' parties sound fun. Looking forward to that!"

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