Carthy calls on Government to include Funeral Directors in Coronavirus planning
Speaking this weekend, Cavan Monaghan TD, Matt Carthy, has called on the government to ensure that representatives of funeral directors are included in discussions relating to the preparation for the Coronavirus emergency.
Deputy Carthy said that, while the hope must remain that deaths from Covid-19 will be minimised, it is nevertheless imperative that measures are taken to ensure that funerals are organised in a dignified and safe manner. Funeral Directors, he said, will find themselves at the frontline and therefore need supports from the National Public Health Emergency Team.
The Sinn Féin representative said:
“I have been contacted by funeral directors in my constituency who are deeply concerned about the level of preparedness in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis.
“Specifically, they are concerned that as Funeral Directors, they have to be on the front line of a potential emergency situation with very little specialised training or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and, yet, will be expected to manage the transfer of the deceased within their local community from family homes and nursing homes.
“I have written to the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health asking them to ensure that proposals from Funeral Directors will be serious consideration by their respective departments and by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).
“In the first instance I have requested that the NPHET include the Irish Association of Funeral Directors in its discussions on forward-planning over the coming days.
“Secondly, I have called on the NPHET to adopt the proposal that specialised teams in each county, coordinated by local government and made up of Emergency Responders (fire staff) and Funeral Directors who can be quickly resourced and trained in transfer in safe working practices, use of PPE and equipment and desensitized techniques to manage the safe collection and transfer of the deceased from the place of death to local mortuaries (existing or temporary) or funeral homes, be actioned without delay.
“I believe that the constructive manner in which Funeral Directors have approached this emergency situation is welcome and therefore I trust that the government will respond positively to the proposals that they have made.
“Our hope must be that deaths from Covid-19 are minimised and that these measures will not be over-utilised; however we have a responsibility to ensure that every funeral is organised in as dignified and safe manner as possible.”