Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Ceisteanna (256)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

256. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health if provision is made to prioritise Covid-19 testing for healthcare workers and their immediate family members in circumstances in which it is deemed necessary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32037/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Testing and contact tracing continues to be a key component of the Government’s and the country’s response to the pandemic and the HSE will continue to apply the necessary resources to ensure that our response remains effective.

The HSE is now finalising the future service model for testing and contact tracing. This model will aim to deliver a patient-centred, accessible, consistent, flexible service, with a permanent dedicated workforce. 

In terms of healthcare workers, at present only serial testing of healthcare workers in Residential Care Facilities for Older Persons is ongoing. However, it should be noted that very few other countries have carried out such mass testing in Long Term Residential Care facilities. 

The NPHET will continue as part of a constant process of evaluation to consider and review, based on public health risk assessments, how best to target testing to hunt the virus in populations where it’s most likely and where it will do most harm, and potentially what groups could be prioritised.