Sinn Fein health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly has called on HSE CEO Paul Reid to outline how the health service will hit the necessary 72-hour COVID-19 testing and tracing targets.
The need to reach those targets on a consistent basis is a key component of the state’s plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions this Monday.
Speaking today, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“We know that the HSE has encountered difficulties in hitting the necessary COVID-19 targets for testing and tracing.
“Experts are clear that the entire testing process must be completed within 48 to 72 hours in order to cut the spread of the virus across the population.
“However, the current timelines are too slow and are not where they need to be.
“We know that some of the difficulties and delays have arisen due to a legacy of government under-funding and under-investment in electronic systems for the health service.
“I hope HSE CEO Paul Reid’s comments today, where he stated that they are to introduce a new three-day test and tracing target, is an indication that the HSE has now managed to get ahead of the ongoing difficulties that have been causing delays.
“It is very important that the 72-hour target is met and sustained once the restrictions are lifted. Failure to do so could see new transmissions across our communities and undo much of the hard work done to contain the virus.
“I am therefore calling on the CEO to outline how the HSE will hit the 72-hour testing and tracing end-to-end targets.
“The public must have confidence that optimum standards can be reached and maintained in the weeks after Monday May 18th.”