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Friday, January 21, 2022

COVID-19: HSE spent over €480 million on tests and test centres since start of pandemic

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has spent over €480 million on Covid-19 tests and test centres since the beginning of the pandemic.

An additional €320,000 was spent on “I got my Covid-19 vaccine” badges, which the HSE purchased two million units of.

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Free PCR tests have been provided by the state since March 2020 and more than 30,000 tests had been carried out by the end of the month.

To date, there have been over seven million tests completed nationwide.

Figures released to The Journal revealed that in the year 2020, Covid-19 testing centres cost the state €19 million.

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This year, expenses have risen to almost €28 million up to mid-August.

Testing in laboratories was €246 million last year and €189 million for the first eight months of this year.

Accounting for the rise in test centre costs, a spokesperson for the HSE stated, “In 2020, there were significant numbers of staff redeployed to swabbing from other roles and were not costed to a Covid cost centre, so they do not appear in the 2020 costs. Dedicated swabbers were then recruited and staff returned to their substantive posts.”

The spokesperson added, “There were also significant developments with pop-up test centres, walk-in testing and an online booking system to improve access to testing for those who need it,”.

IMAGE – “New York National Guard” by The National Guard is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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