GPs have expressed concern about a decline in "routine" consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to GPs in the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), this decline in recent weeks is a source of concern to them, not comfort.
"People haven't simply got healthier. The reality is that many are simply ignoring warning signs and risking larger health problems down the line because COVID-19 has become our only focus of discussion or debate," commented Roscommon GP and IMO GP Committee member, Dr Madeleine Ní Dhálaigh.
She is urging patients with non-COVID-19 health issues to contact their GPs for a consultation or assessment now, in order to avoid longer-term health complications.
"Patients have been extraordinarily supportive of GPs and many have delayed contacting them about their own issues for fear of adding to pressures on the GP service at this time.
"But we are now appealing to people to make contact with us. You can talk to your GP over the phone who can then assess your situation and advise you on the next steps," Dr Ní Dhálaigh explained.
She added that the establishment of community assessment hubs for COVID-19 cases will free up GPs to deal with more non-COVID 19 cases, and will enable them to see patients in their surgeries for a personal consultation if required.
Discussions on this topic are now closed.