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It has cost the HSE over 1 billion euro to provide free PCR tests for Covid to the public.

That’s according to new figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The HSE has been providing free PCR tests for Covid-19 for over two years.

They’re currently confined to high-risk groups, like over-55s who haven’t had a booster vaccine.

Over 11.3 million PCR tests have been carried out, within the public healthcare system.

This has cost over 1 billion and 72 million euro.

This includes referral and swabbing costs, reading the test results, and transporting the tests.

Donegal GP Ciarán Ó Fearraigh says the tests had a crucial role during the pandemic.

“It’s hard to think now but they were absolutely vital throughout the pandemic. I suppose at the very start we struggled to get access to them initially and there was then a huge scale up of availability which was crucial which was crucial in our response to the pandemic.”

Over 6.2 million tests have been carried out in test centres – with over 370,000 in Citywest in Dublin, 310,000 in The Lee centre in Cork, and 281,000 at Galway Airport.