No decision taken by government yet on antigen testing subsidy

The government hopes to make a decision “soon” on whether to subsidize antigen testing for the public.

As the debate over whether to subsidize antigen testing continues, the government has yet to make a final decision on the matter.

Speaking to RTÉ News on Tuesday, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe noted that work has started behind the scenes and he hopes a solution will be found soon.

“We are investigating whether and how a subsidized model of antigen testing delivery could help our public health efforts,” Donohoe said.

“This work is in progress between Stephen [Donnelly] and Minister McGrath and I are playing a role in that and hopefully the work will be completed soon and we will be able to describe how antigen testing might be more available. “

Donohoe went on to note that the issues the government faces with regards to subsidized antigen testing include how the tests would be made available at various retail outlets in addition to their overall financial impact.

“Of course we are looking at what the cost would be against that,” he said.

“But of course anything that slows down and contains the spread of Covid; the cost of that has tended to be a very good investment against the backdrop of the huge economic damage Covid caused in the first place.

“And then, third, how would we ensure that we have the right supply in the right places in the event that there is a change in the level of the subsidy.”

Donohoe reiterated his hope that the work will come to a conclusion very soon, but has appointed Health Minister Stephen Donnelly as the person who will ultimately define the process.

Earlier on Tuesday, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said there is evidence to support the idea that the Irish have started to reduce their social contact following the introduction of new restrictions.

On Monday, 684 patients are hospitalized in connection with Covid-19, including 126 in intensive care.

5,634 new cases of the virus were confirmed on Tuesday by the Ministry of Health.

Featured Image by Paschal Donohoe via Julien Behal Photography /

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