Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (406)

Louise O'Reilly


406. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the counties that do not have hospice facilities; and the way in which he plans to address this disparity. [16472/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

At present, there are 11 specialist inpatient palliative care units or hospices, with four in Dublin and one each in Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Limerick and Sligo. Each inpatient unit has a catchment area covering one or more counties or parts of counties. The number of hospice beds has increased by 44% over the past five years. In addition, every county has a specialist palliative care homecare team. Palliative care is also provided in acute hospitals, community hospitals and through hospice day care services, as well as by GPs and primary care teams.

There are plans to further increase hospice bed numbers nationwide, ensuring that there is a hospice serving every region of the country, in accordance with national palliative care policy. Three new inpatient units are scheduled to open later this year, in Mayo, Waterford and Wicklow. A further three units are planned for development in the coming years, serving people with specialist palliative care needs in counties Louth, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath. Once these inpatient units are opened, there will be hospice coverage for every county in the country.