Ireland’s excess mortality was among the lowest in Europe during the Covid pandemic and is a testament to the responses of the Government and Irish people, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator Martin Conway, who sits on the Oireachtas Health Committee, has welcomed the report of the Public Health Reform Expert Advisory Group (PHREAG), which examined the public health response to COVID-19.
“The report concludes that Ireland performed very well in response to COVID-19, highlighting that excess mortality was among the lowest in Europe, while surges in hospitalisations were of a lower and shorter duration than many other European countries,” Senator Conway explained.
“It also highlights Ireland’s successful vaccination programme and the impact of the collective commitment of the public health workforce. These key findings confirm to all of us that the Government’s approach was correct, and that our high compliance rate served to fulfil everyone’s wish to save lives and to limit the virus from spreading.
“It is worth noting that Ireland’s Vaccination Programme has been among the most successful in the European Union. 96.5% of people aged 18 and older have now received a full primary vaccination regimen, which is hugely positive for our public health.
“I support the report’s recommendations around strengthening public health and the appointment of an expert to design a new emerging health threats agency. I look forward to examining those proposals in greater detail.
“Our response to Covid and commitment to keeping everyone safe would not have been as effective as it was without the Fine Gael led Government’s financial responses, including the introduction of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme, which was of great assistance to workers.
“For businesses, the Enterprise Support Grand, the Credit Guarantee Scheme, the Stay and Spend Scheme -all were introduced to ensure our economy did not flounder in the wake of such an unprecedented public health crisis.
“As we approach Budget 2024, it’s important that recognition is also given to the importance of good economic management and to always having provision to support our most vulnerable people in times of extreme crisis as well as day to day.”