29 Sept 2022

Labour TD calls for PCR testing delays to be tackled

Labour TD calls for PCR testing delays to be tackled

Labour TD calls for PCR testing delays to be tackled (Credit:

Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith has called on the government to outline its plan to clear the backlog in PCR tests.

Deputy Smith said people must receive confirmatory PCR tests as soon as possible rather than waiting a number of days.

He said the increase in the incidence rate of Covid in the community has brought the PCR system under 'extreme pressure' and self referral test centres are booked out with people waiting days for an appointment to get a test.

Deputy Smith added that the HSE has completed 197,252 tests in the last 7 days which is an 'extraordinary amount' but the level of capacity is now at breaking point.

He added: "There are times when there are no appointments available for two days. People are having to wake up early to get ahead of the rush and book an appointment like they would for concert tickets. This is a ridiculous situation. We’re talking about people’s health in the middle of a pandemic."

He said testing centres are currently under-resourced and unable to deal with the latest surge in covid cases.

"Testing and tracing has always been fundamental to preventing community spread, particularly in health care settings and workplaces and we are facing another crunch point in our Covid journey and we need to ensure the fundamentals are in place to protect people." added Mr. Smith. 

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