Full public Covid inquiry must be constituted urgently says Smith

27 February 2023

Labour health spokesperson, Duncan Smith has today (Monday 27th February) called for a full public inquiry into the State’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and said it must be constituted without any further unnecessary delays.

Deputy Smith said:

“Professor Martin Cormican’s comments will certainly inspire plenty of reaction from anyone interested in our response to the pandemic. However, his comments underscore our real need to have a full public inquiry into the State’s response to Covid-19. If we don’t have that inquiry soon all we will have is more media commentary, newspaper articles, best-selling books and academic assessments of what we did or didn’t do. That is not ultimately helpful for learning from our mistakes and building on what we got right. We need to capture all of this through a public inquiry to inform our response to any potential future pandemic rather than this drip feed of opinion and speculation. Let’s have all the facts, out in the open, well in advance of the next general election. The key questions should be our system responses to the pandemic, particularly around our health service.

“We need to have a serious examination of the impact the effective shutting down of our health service had on mental health services, people waiting on assessments and elective surgeries. We need to know what the real life consequences of these decisions to effectively cancel all non-Covid related health services and to plan for and resource our health service in such a way that if another pandemic was to hit that our health service would be in a far better position to be able to cope with it while maintaining essential health services.”

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