IRSP Limerick – locals concerned about Covid-19 testing irregularities.

The IRSP in Limerick were recently contacted by a local man and member of the public who wanted to raise concerns about irregularities in the Covid-19 testing system. The man in question, who requested to remain anonymous, met with the IRSP in Limerick city centre and shared his story of how he has personally experienced the Covid testing system – and how it has left him anxious over his health, and financially out of pocket due to the unacceptable irregularities. Irregularities which we can only speculate are as a result of the over-stretched health system trying to cope with an under-funded and under-staffed workforce. Heroic front-line workers, healthcare staff and patients alike – all deserve better.

The concern citizen related his story as follows:     
I was referred by my GP for a covid test on 11/8 last. I was not contacted by the HSE until after 3 days so I contacted them on their results helpline on the 15/8 and the 17/8. I did not receive any information on my test until the 18/8 (over a week later in what is supposed to be a ‘rapid-testing system) when I received this letter (attached) by post. I followed all health guidelines, such as restricting my movements and self-isolating, while waiting for results. This included not attending work. Due to my test being classified as “not tested” – I have to be retested, which means the continuation of restricting my movement, self-isolation and being unable to attend work again. This of course leads me to a further loss of income. Although I had no symptoms, this test was deemed necessary by my GP, before I could receive other necessary tests due to a separate medical condition. I agree with my GPs decision and deem no fault on his behalf. However, the points that I would like to highlight, are the facts, that because my test was deemed “not tested “, I can only reach the conclusion that my test was either missing or the sample was not collected to necessary standards to provide an accurate result. I feel the need to bring this to you and your party’s attention, in order to bring to the forefront the inability of the testing system to manage and accurately provide the people of this state, with reliable test results, in order to deal with the current crisis, that the state finds itself in.

The IRSP in Limerick thank and commend the citizen in question for coming forward to us and raising important questions about the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. It questions the State’s ability and levels of commitment to adequately dealing with the situation and protecting the health of the people of Limerick and Ireland. We have seen in recent weeks how the chosen few of Oireachteas members, the judiciary, the Irish business elite and EU high-flyers are able to flout health restrictions – all at the same time as our Public Health system is under-funded and our frontline workers are expected to cope with increasing demands and pressures with nothing more than a feigned ‘clap’ in the way of extra support.

We call for the immediate adequate staffing and funding of all public hospitals, Covid-19 testing centres and the creation of a fully functional public health system funded top to bottom by an Irish State that should be willing and capable of providing for the adequate healthcare needs of its citizens. We ask those at the helm of the Irish State, those in positions of power, authority and ultimately – responsibility: If you are not sufficiently capable of providing for the health and care-needs of the Irish population – what exactly are you doing in the halls of power – and whose interests are you really serving?