Written Answers. - Hospital Accommodation.

Breeda Moynihan-Cronin

Question:

199 Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Health and Children if there have been hospital bed closures at Tralee General Hospital to date in 2002; if bed closures are envisaged at the hospital for the remainder of 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22060/02]

My Department collects information on bed closures in acute hospitals from health agencies on a quarterly basis. The information currently available to my Department indicates that there were no bed closures in Tralee General Hospital for the first six months of 2002. My Department has been informed by the hospital concerned that there are no planned bed closures envisaged for the remainder of 2002.

It is a feature of all acute hospital systems that some beds may be out of use for short periods. Bed closures may result from essential ward maintenance, ward refurbishment, staff shortages or as a consequence of infection control measures within hospitals.