Building the plane while flying it

‘My hope is that we see more collaboration among all of the important partners in our healthcare system’ says Finbarr Kenny, Director of Ireland, Roche Diagnostics

2nd February, 2021
Building the plane while flying it

What's your name and what position do you hold?

Finbarr Kenny, Director of Ireland, Roche Diagnostics

What are your day to day responsibilities?

I am responsible for the governance of the Irish operation and executing the overall strategy and direction for the organisation in Ireland. My approach is to guide and empower and support employees to help local teams make the right decisions.

What is your professional background?

I have worked with Roche for 13 years and have largely worked in the diagnostics and biotechnology sectors. Prior to my role as Director, I worked in the areas of sales and marketing.

How do you think the healthcare sector is coping with the Covid-19 crisis?

I have heard the analogy - building the plane while flying it - to describe the response to the pandemic and I think it personally sums up the collective response of the healthcare sector. At Roche, we have been working closely with the Irish government and the HSE to increase tests and analytical systems production to help ensure the availability of testing and appropriate patient care. It really is an exceptional time and as an organisation we very much stand together with the government, the HSE, healthcare providers and all those working to overcome the pandemic. There is real value in this collaboration, and we see great importance in events like The National Health Summit that allows industry leaders in healthcare to come together.

What will be the lasting impact of the pandemic on the healthcare system?

My hope is that we see more collaboration among all of the important partners in our healthcare system. What we know now in Ireland, and feedback from our colleagues across Europe, is that no one organisation is going to solve the pandemic and that we must work together, collaborate and establish true and meaningful partnerships.

Dialogue and an open, collective forum with the Dept. of Health and specific, leading industry contributors will be an important development for Ireland in the months ahead. We have seen to great effect in other European countries where this level of open government contact and direct collaboration on collective capacity and supply, network co-planning of systems & sites, and innovation scanning, has led to an ability to respond faster and at greater scale to significant events such as this pandemic.

I hope this is the lasting impact that we see in Ireland. Our country has become a hub for healthcare and technology and there is no better time for industry, the HSE and government to come together, collaborate, innovate and look for lasting solutions.

Finbarr Kenny is speaking at the 2021 National Health Summit on Feb 10th. Visit for full details and booking.

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