Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Questions (323)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

323. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 275 of 12 December 2019, the funding the National Treatment Purchase Fund is providing for the opening of additional beds; if the beds are being exclusively financed by the fund; if other funding is being provided; and if so, the details of same. [53687/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) has agreed, at my request, to support the marginal costs of funding additional beds for three months to the end of March 2020. This initiative will support the commitment by the HSE and my Department to alleviate winter pressures in our  hospital system. Hospitals have been invited to make submissions to the NTPF to utilise this funding. To date, the NTPF has approved in principle, subject to appropriate governance and oversight, 172 additional beds. These beds will be funded from the NTPF budget at a cost of approximately €4.6 million. Furthermore, the NTPF is currently assessing further proposals which are still being received. Given the challenges facing the Emergency Departments, with the exceptionally high use of trolleys for patients, I would urge all hospital groups and individual hospitals, which have not already done so, to engage with the NTPF to identify proposals to provide additional bed capacity for the winter period.