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HSE Report on Public Health lays bare significant shortfalls in vaccine readiness - David Cullinane TD

20 December, 2020 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has said that the details of the HSE's report on Public Health Medicine in Ireland, reported in the Sunday Independent, lays bare significant shortfalls in vaccine rollout readiness.

The Waterford TD said this could, and should have been made known to the Oireachtas Health Committee last week.

Teachta Cullinane said:

"This report lays bare what we have suspected for some time.

"Public Health departments across the country have been under-staffed and under-resourced, which has seriously constrained their ability to manage Covid-19 outbreaks.

"There are also consequences for our ability to rollout the Covid-19 vaccine and train staff to do it.

"The detail in this report should have been made available to the Health Committee last week when we scrutinised the plan for rolling out the vaccine.

"Instead, we got commitments to be ready, but no admission of how big the challenge is despite questions on staffing requirements.

"It was extremely relevant, and the information on staffing was something all members wanted to know.

"This report should have been shared in advance by the HSE to inform the discussion but instead the committee was kept in the dark.

"Public health specialists have been pointing these problems out for some time.

"The report has revealed that they are half-staffed and were overwhelmed with Covid cases.

"When the tracing system collapsed, the HSE denied there were any problems with capacity. 

"This report demonstrates further how untrue that statement was."

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