Aontú leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín TD has cautioned against government by Nphet. He stated;
“We really need to be careful that the focus of government does not become so narrow that the needs of significant sections of society are ignored. Covid is a serious threat. We still do not know everything about the illness and we need to be careful and cautious. We should do our best to keep figures down. But focusing on Covid to the exclusion of much else is leading to major crisis developing in many other areas of society”.
“The Health Service itself is a prime example. So many life and death issues within the health services are suffering. Prime amongst these are cancer services and mental health services. People are experiencing delayed diagnosis and delayed treatment and people are dying. Neither the HSE nor Nphet have done research on the cost in terms of mortality and morbidity of the reductions of services in these areas. That’s a mistake. It is impossible to make key decisions on resources and priorities if you don’t have the research done and you don’t have all the information”.
“Outside of health the functioning of much of society is being radically affected. Enterprise, work, social networks such as Pubs and Sports have all been curtailed. These are not a cost free decisions and will have long lasting effects on the health and mortality and our ability to fund the health services in the future”.
“Nphet is focused on its terms of references and that’s right and proper. The work that Nphet has done has saved many lives and reduced the spread of Covid. But the government’s terms of reference is bigger that that. The government’s terms of reference is the protect of all of society in a proportionated and balanced way. Nphet’s advice should feed into and shape the government’s approach but so should many other aspects of Irish society”.
We need to learn to live with Covid and that means much of society has to return to as normal a function as possible. There may well be need for restrictions in certain sectors and locations but the current national approach of “See How It Goes Over the Next 7 days” is not working.