By Sharon Dolan D’Arcy
Multinational medical device company Medtronic is to double the workforce at its Galway manufacturing facility as a direct result of the global coronavirus crisis.
The company currently employs more than 250 employees in Parkmore who are dedicated to ventilator manufacturing. In response to the coronavirus crisis, Medtronic plans to ramp-up its production capacity and supply of ventilators by up to 40%.
To meet the demand, Medtronic said it has introduced “new shift patterns” and will make the Galway plant a “24/7 operation”.
Medtronic in a statement said it is prioritising high risk and high needs to allocate ventilators on a weekly basis for global distribution through its supply chain.
Bob White, executive vice president at the company, said:
“Medtronic is committed to getting more ventilators into the market and to the right locations in the world to help doctors and patients dealing with COVID-19”.
Ventilators are vital equipment used for treating coronavirus patients and there is currently a shortage of ventilators in intensive care units in hospitals globally.
These devices enable patients with breathing difficulties to recover while oxygen is supplied to the body through the machines, which stimulate breathing.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) told RTE last week that there are currently 1,229 ventilators available in the country with an additional 900 new ventilators on order that are scheduled for delivery at the end of March.