Reid: Response to pandemic has helped public confidence in health service

Reid: Response to pandemic has helped public confidence in health service

Speaking during an online conference on the current pandemic hosted by UCC’s Biomedical Science Society, Science Society, Pharmacy Society, Medical Society, and Medical Research and Technology Society, Mr Reid said he was “blown away at times by the whole of government response”. Photograph: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

THE CEO of the Health Service Executive (HSE) Paul Reid has spoken of how Government departments and agencies’ response to the pandemic has benefitted the health service.

Speaking during an online conference on the current pandemic hosted by UCC’s Biomedical Science Society, Science Society, Pharmacy Society, Medical Society, and Medical Research and Technology Society, Mr Reid said he was “blown away at times by the whole of government response”.

He said that early on in the pandemic chief of staff of the Defence Forces Mark Mellet and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris offered their services to the health service in what he described as “a very powerful moment” which he said has “held true to this day how the whole of Government departments, Government agencies have come together to help the health system”.

He said the public heard a “much more coherent voice from the health system” during the first wave because “they didn’t hear different interests coming out against each other.

“They heard a very strong coherent voice between the department, between NPHET, between the HSE, between all of those consultants, and the GPs and I think that gave the public good confidence and I can say that with a reasonable bit of knowledge because we did track public trust and confidence throughout this pandemic and still do.”

Mr Reid said that such trust was also seen at the Helix in Dublin over the weekend where a vaccination centre saw 100 GPs administer one thousand vaccines to the over 85 population in what he said was “one of the most inspiring days I’ve had in the last year.”

He said that it was “highly motivational” to see the sheer joy on the faces of those receiving the vaccine and their families.

“People just wanted to come forward and thank the health service, thank us, thank everybody who works in the health service.”

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