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Covid-19 Ireland – Government opposes 700 million euros of PCR tests that make ‘hundreds of millions wasted’

ALMOST 700 million euros has been spent on PCR testing in Ireland since the start of the pandemic, the Irish Sun can reveal.

It comes as the Government today is accused of wasting hundreds of millions of euros on PCR testing by refusing to accept cheaper and faster antigen tests earlier in the pandemic.

More than 1,000 people work at community testing centers around the country

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More than 1,000 people work at community testing centers around the countryCredit: PA: Press Association
Independent TD Michael McNamara TD believes the Government has questions to answer about why Ireland has been slow to move to cheaper rapid antigen tests

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Independent TD Michael McNamara TD believes the Government has questions to answer about why Ireland has been slow to move to cheaper rapid antigen testsCredit: Refer to Footnote

Figures from HSE provided to TD Michael McNamara show that Ireland’s PCR testing system is run by an army of 1,128 workers at community centers including sweepers, support staff and administrators. .

This PCR workforce has cost the State €55,197,000 from the start of the pandemic until the end of November 2021.

The cost of clinical diagnostic testing of the PCR system from 2020 to November 2021 has cost the State 630 million euros.

Much of this cost (€453 million) is paid to the National Virus Reference Laboratory based at University College Dublin.

Most read in The Irish Sun

NVRL also oversaw operations at the Department of Agriculture laboratory in Backweston, Co Kildare, and at Enfer Laboratories – a private company owned by millionaire Louis Ronan that powered our PCR system.

About 96.9 million euros were spent processing PCR tests in hospital laboratories across the country while another 79.8 million euros were paid to commercial laboratories also working on the system. our test.

The HSE signed a commercial agreement with the German company Eurofins-Biomnis for diagnostic test PCR increased capacity – an agreement that remains in place.

Ireland’s PCR testing capacity has increased from 20,000 tests per week in early 2020 to 300,000 tests per week today.

Even so, Ireland’s The PCR system is overloaded by the Omicron wave with tens of thousands of people unable to check-in for more than a week during the peak of the spike.

ANTIGEN TEST DELAYED

Therefore, the Government has turned to rely on rapid antigen tests with HSE now posting hundreds of thousands of these quick, inexpensive tests for under-40s every week.

The government has organized meaningful deployment of antigen tests for most pandemics due to concerns from some officials in the country. National public health emergency group about how people will use the tests.

Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly is so keen to roll out these rapid tests that he ordered an independent review from a team of leading scientists led by Professor Mark Ferguson, who recommended that they be tested. widely used in society.

Although this report was published in April 2021, the Government continues its efforts to find the antigen and has only started counting these swabs by Covid count in recent weeks.

‘WASTE MONEY’

Independent TD Michael McNamara believes the Government has wasted hundreds of millions of euros on PCR testing by delaying the rapid deployment of antigens.

He told the Irish Sun: “Huge amounts, hundreds of millions of euros could have been saved.

“There is so much we can do with hundreds of millions of euros in our society, other than blowing it up in tests that at the end of the day, what difference does it make? What is the difference now between antigen test and PCR test? Not available.”

Deputy Minister McNamara believes that the Government should reduce its reliance on PCR testing and move to a program that leads to antigen testing.

Clare TD has called on the Government to explain why it has not acted on the recommendations of the Mark Ferguson report on earlier antigen tests.

REPORT ‘WAS FINDED’

“I don’t know of any other country that does as many PCR tests per capita as Ireland and therefore the costs compared to any other country are outrageously high,” he said.

“Being completely reliant on PCR testing to rule out antigen testing is something I nurtured in the Dail for 15 months.

“There may be some role for PCR testing but it is certainly not a role that was regulated until late last year.

“I think the Government now needs to come up with how and why they ignored a scientific report they commissioned. Why wasn’t that done a lot earlier, especially given the astronomical cost that is happening with PCR testing. “

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly

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Health Minister Stephen DonnellyCredit: PA

https://www.thesun.ie/news/8232875/covid-ireland-goverment-pcr-test-costs-pandemic/ Covid-19 Ireland – Government opposes 700 million euros of PCR tests that make ‘hundreds of millions wasted’

Fry Electronics Team

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