Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Questions (501)

Louise O'Reilly


501. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health when the financial allocation applied for and required will be released to Letterkenny University Hospital to enable it to re-open its 19 bed short stay ward to assist with the overcrowding crisis at the hospital. [10014/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Tackling overcrowding is a key commitment of this Government and this year, as part of Budget 2018, an extra €30m was made available to respond to winter pressures in 2017, with a further €40m being provided in 2018. This funding is aimed at reducing overcrowding in our hospitals through the provision of extra capacity, such as increased bed capacity, and additional supports including social care measures aimed at assisting patients to return home or to an appropriate community setting after a stay in hospital.

Notwithstanding this investment, I acknowledge that there continues to be an unacceptable number of patients waiting on trolleys throughout the system and I can assure the Deputy that this issue remains a priority for me and my Department.

In relation to the specific question asked regarding the opening of a new short stay ward in Letterkenny, as this is a service matter I have referred it to the HSE for a direct response.