Cabinet memo on subsidising cost of antigen tests delayed


A planned Cabinet memo on subsidising the cost of antigen tests has been delayed.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly was due to bring the proposals to his Government colleagues this morning.

The details of the deal to subsidise the cost of antigen tests were close to being finalised yesterday evening.

It had been intended to start the roll-out in pharmacies, with the Government rebating a portion of the cost to reduce the price of an antigen test to two or three euro.

Part of the thinking being pharmacies could provide proper advice on how to use the antigen tests, a concern raised repeatedly by NPHET and Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.

However, Minister Stephen Donnelly won’t now bring the memo to Cabinet this morning.

It’s understood the delay is to allow more engagement with retailers about bringing them into the subsidisation from the start.

No new date for the memo, and the start of the lower prices, has been confirmed – though it’s expected to come later this week or early next week.

The Health Minister will brief the Cabinet on the latest case, hospitalisation and ICU numbers.

Last night the Cabinet sub-committee on Economic Recovery met, and decided to make no changes to plans for now to reduce the wage subsidy scheme for businesses on December 1st.



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