HSE paid Enfer €122.4m to process Covid tests last year

‘Test and trace’ system cost HSE €280.5m in 2020

The National Virus Reference Laboratory was last year paid €11.95 million for its central role in the testing regime, HSE figures show. Photograph: iStock

The National Virus Reference Laboratory was last year paid €11.95 million for its central role in the testing regime, HSE figures show. Photograph: iStock

 

Enfer, the Tipperary diagnostics company controlled by businessman Louis Ronan, was last year paid €122.4 million to process Covid-19 tests.

New figures provided by the HSE show the executive’s spend on Covid-19 “test and tracing” last year totalled €280.48 million. It carried out 2.4 million Covid-19 tests.

Clonmel-based Enfer processed the Covid-19 tests from its Kildare labs on behalf of the National Virus Reference Laboratory (NVRL), which is led by Dr Cillian de Gascun.

The NVRL was last year paid €11.95 million for its central role in the testing regime, the HSE figures show.

Laboratory firm Eurofins Biomnis was paid €15 million to process Covid-19 tests.

A further €40.73 million was paid out for “acute hospital testing” while €52.55 million was spent on equipment and reagent.

In response to a Freedom of Information request, the HSE confirmed it spent €19 million on swabbing and referrals.

The HSE spent €1.89 million on logistics and transport, including air charter under the testing regime.

Contact tracing

Expenditure on contact tracing totalled €9.33 million in 2020. A further €5.8 million was spent on costs concerning the “test and trace” operational team.

Across 290 days from March to the end of December, the HSE carried out an average of 8,283 Covid-19 tests per day and reached a high point in October when the daily average was 14,521.

Separately, the HSE FOI unit has confirmed that the value of orders made for Covid-19 PPE last year totalled €859 million.

The HSE ordered €123 million in PPE from Ennis, Co Clare-based company, EKO Integrated Services, with orders for a further €61 million for PPE from Allphar Services Ltd and €39 million for PPE from Arco Safety Ltd.