GPs will not be involved in issuing Covid 'recovery certs', Minister confirms

ireland
Gps Will Not Be Involved In Issuing Covid 'Recovery Certs', Minister Confirms Gps Will Not Be Involved In Issuing Covid 'Recovery Certs', Minister Confirms
Minister of State Ossian Smyth said only people who have tested positive in the State in the past 180 days will be able to receive a Covid-19 recovery certificate. Photo: PA Wire/PA Images
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Vivienne Clarke

Minister of State for Public Expenditure and Reform Ossian Smyth has apologised for the misunderstanding caused by comments made by Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin regarding the issuing of Covid-19 'recovery certificates' to allow people to access indoor dining.

Ms Martin previously claimed on RTÉ's Morning Ireland programme that GPs would be issuing the certs, prompting anger and confusion from doctors.

GPs said they were not consulted on the matter and first heard of the arrangement when Ms Martin stated it on the airwaves.

However, Mr Smyth, who has special responsibility for eGovernment, has since clarified GPs will not be involved in issuing the certs, confirming his department has responsibility for the matter. “I will be issuing the recovery certs,” he added.

Speaking to RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne show, Dr Illona Duffy and Dr Ray Walley said there was no consultation with GPs on the matter prior to Ms Martin's comments.

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Dr Duffy added the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) had issued a letter stating GPs will not be issuing certificates as they were already under pressure and having to provide such letters would add to their workload.

'Madness'

The doctors also stated GPs would not have the required information to confirm their patients had Covid, as these details are held by the HSE.

“It’s madness to state that GPs will do this,” Dr Duffy said.

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Mr Smyth reiterated that anyone who had tested positive for Covid and was now seeking a recovery cert should not involve their GP.

He said they should instead contact the call centre which has been established, adding they will have a record of all cases and can issue the cert.

If a person had not done a PCR test then they cannot be issued with a recovery cert, nor can people who tested positive in another country, Mr Smyth explained.

The recovery cert will also only be issued to people who have tested positive and recovered in the past 180 days, he added.

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