Gildernew calls on Health Minister to ensure testing kits available to all
Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Colm Gildernew MLA has called on Health Minister Robin Swann to ensure that there are adequate amounts of COVID-19 home testing kits.
The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA said:
“Concerns have been raised over an apparent insufficient volume of home testing kits in stock and the absence of a system that prioritises access for vulnerable citizens.
“Just this morning I was made aware of a 72-year-old man who was unable to travel to a testing facility and was told that there were no more home testing kits were available today.
“No attempt was apparently made to gather his details so that he could access a kit. Instead he was asked to call back when the facility opens tomorrow and enter into a queue on the hotline.
"Despite being in the vulnerable category, there is no guarantee that this 72-year-old man will be successful in getting a kit when he calls back.
“Testing is too important to be left to a lottery.
“I have asked the Health Minister to urgently clarify if the volume of home testing kits in stock can meet the demand and also to urgently look into a system that ensures speedy and easy access to kits for all, and in particular vulnerable citizens.
“The Health Minister has told the public that testing, tracing and isolating is key to minimising the spread of covid-19 and overcoming the virus. He must ensure that adequate volumes of home testing kits are available and that a system is put in place to provide easy access to these kits and proper protection for the vulnerable.”