AN appeal has been made to the Department of Agriculture and Department of Health to explore the potential of changing the role of a mobile unit, which for years has been engaging in farm family health checks at local marts and other rural locations, to undertaking Covid-19 checks, especially in isolated rural areas.
West Tyrone MLA and chair of the Stormont Agriculture Committee Declan McAleer said: “For years, this nurse-led Family Farm Health Check mobile unit has been fulfilling an invaluable role at our livestock marts for the farming community in promoting improved health outcomes. This is funded by the DAERA TRPSI programme and the Public Health Agency.
“With livestock marts closed for the foreseeable future, because of the unprecedented public health crisis we are now in, I believe that the role of this mobile facility could be changed to assist in undertaking Covid-19 testing, particularly in isolated rural communities.
“I wrote to both the DAERA and Health Ministers and raised it directly with the Health Minister during today’s discussion on the Coronavirus Bill at which I also raised possibility of community facilities such as GAA halls and Young Farmers’ Clubs halls being used as Covid testing locations.”