Thursday, 21 May 2020
Covid-19 (Health): Statements
Simon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
I thank Deputy Smith for raising this matter. We know that roughly from the middle of March until 12 May the position was that all non-essential health services were effectively paused. Then, on 12 May, the national public health emergency team said that from a public health point of view the team believed it was appropriate to lift the pause and replace it with a recommendation on appropriate clinical and operational clinical decision-making. Since then, the HSE, led by Mr. Paul Reid, has been working on trying to put in place a safe non-covid care plan. Those responsible in the HSE are doing good work. I met Paul Reid to discuss this matter either yesterday or the day before. It is their intention within two weeks to publish the framework for non-covid care in Ireland. I outlined on the record of the House earlier the eight key principles that they would use as a guide. I will not eat into Deputy Smith's time by going through those now but I am happy to send Deputy Smith a note on that. Within two weeks I expect the HSE to outline to people how the executive intends in a safe manner to recommence non-covid health services in the community and in hospitals.