Paul Reid warns health service will be dealing with coronavirus for 'quite a long period of time'
HSE boss Paul Reid has said that plans have been agreed to ramp up coronavirus testing to 100,000 tests per week.
It comes as this number of tests is seen as a key factor in the easing of restrictions on everyday life.
His remarks come amid reports that the HSE was concerned about the announcement of the 100,000-a-week target and their capacity to deliver this.
Mr Reid has also warned that the health service will be dealing with coronavirus for "quite a long period of time".
He said that the HSE will have to look at the delivery of healthcare through a "very different lens" as a result.
Hospitals will have to focus on protecting the public from Covid-19 while delivering other service in a "very new way."
He said this will continue "well into 2021" and the model of healthcare is going to have to be "not just a war-time response to Covid-19.
Mr Reid confirmed that he did raise concerns about the ability of the HSE to scale up testing to 100,000-per-week.
He also said it would be naive to think that there would never be tensions between the HSE and Department of Health but insisted that are "very constructive tensions".
He said his concerns related to testing turnaround time, how to scale up lab analysis and the timing of achieving the 100,000-a-week target.
Mr Reid said there were discussions about those concerns and the HSE agreed a paper with the Department that is to go to Cabinet this week.
He said: "We now have a shared road-map" on how to reach 100,000 tests.
Mr Reid said that the testing can be scaled up to 100,000-per-week by about the third week of May.
More to follow...
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