Written Answers. - Excess Acute Beds.

29.

asked the Minister for Health the number of excess acute beds in the North-Eastern Health Board region under the direct control of the board.

It is not possible to be precise in relation to an excess in hospital beds numbers in any health board area due to a variety of factors which would include the range of specialities provided; the size and characteristics of the population served; the relationship to services in neighbouring areas and the level of day care and other community based services in the area.

Even allowing for these factors it would appear that there is a surplus of beds in the North-Eastern Health Board area. Of the total bed complement of 973 in the area, 646 are in health board hospitals but it is not possible to say how much of the surplus is accounted for by these hospitals.