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Promised beds review is widened by Minister

10 Jun 2016


Minister for Health, Simon Harris

The Minister for Health has said he has no interest in carrying out a bed capacity review for acute hospitals only, but that such a review must look at the whole continuum of care and beds throughout the health system.

A review of bed capacity in the health service is a key commitment in the programme for a partnership government. This pledged that in advance of, and in preparation for the 2017 review of the Capital Plan 2016-2021, the new Government would “undertake a national hospital bed capacity review to establish the number, type and location of beds required into the future, recognising the need for a range of beds including critical care, palliative and day case bed stock”.

“We must look at capacity in the community as well,” Minister Simon Harris told the Dáil recently. “I refer to nursing homes, long-term stay beds and community hospitals. The bed capacity review must look at the whole continuum of care and beds.”

Responding to a parliamentary question from Deputy Louise O’Reilly, Minister Harris said there was a need to identify exactly where extra beds were needed in the system. “We also need to look at delayed discharges because the infrastructure in the community is sometimes inadequate.”

Meanwhile, the budget for the Winter initiative is due to be revealed when the Health estimate is presented to the Dáil next week. Minister Harris stated that “as this is a crisis that happens year-on-year, we need to plan ahead for it”.

gary.culliton@imt.ie

Gary Culliton

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times