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COVID-19 tests costing ‘€200 per go’ as Ireland faces bill of over €400 million

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COVID-19 tests are costing €200 a go, the Taoiseach has said in response to a query from a Clare TD.

In the region of €400m to €500m has been projected as the bill for COVID-19 testing in Ireland this year, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (FG) stated on Thursday. “The average test is €200 per go”, he said.

Deputy Michael McNamara (IND) sought detail on costings for COVID-19 testing during a Dáil sitting on Thursday.

He raised the matter with the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan a week previously as the Dáil’s COVID-19 committee sat for the first time, “Hundreds of millions of euros was as specific I got”.

McNamara flagged that a typical viral swab test referred by a GP practice would cost €25. “It seems like a very large increase,” he added of the €200 per test cost. The Taoiseach responded, “I do think costs will come down. Everything in healthcare is costing a premium at the moment”.

The Clare Echo understands that per test €90 is being charged by the pharmaceutical company with laboratories and administrative costs accounting for the remaining €110.

Criticism of the Taoiseach answering questions from a committee room as opposed to the Dáil Chamber was voiced by Galway West TD, Catherine Connolly (IND). She maintained that Varadkar was sending out “the wrong message” through his actions.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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