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Hospital Facilities

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Questions (321)

Michael Collins


321. Deputy Michael Collins asked the Minister for Health the number of ICU beds in Ireland in 2019, 2020 and to date in 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58046/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

According to the National Adult Critical Care Capacity Census 2019, there were 255 permanent adult critical care beds open in September 2019.

In 2020, funding was provided in 2020 on a temporary basis to put 40 additional beds in place as part of the response to Covid-19.

In 2021, very significant funding of €52m was provided by Government for the permanent retention of the 40 additional critical care beds funded temporarily in 2020, and for the opening of a further 26 beds in new build capacity. The HSE has advised that 42 beds are now open, bringing baseline capacity to 297 to date in 2021, although the number of beds open on any given day fluctuates as a result of a variety of factors.

In 2022, an additional €10.5m is being provided to fund a further 19 permanent critical care beds. This will bring the number of permanent critical care beds from 255 in 2020 to 340 by the end of 2022/early 2023. This represents a 33% increase, or an additional 85 beds funded since 2020.

The Health Service Capacity Review, which was noted by Government in 2018, recommended that an additional 190 critical care beds should be in place by 2031, bringing the total to 430. Accordingly, the Strategic Plan for Critical Care, which was noted by Government in December 2020, aims to increase capacity from the 2020 baseline of 255 critical care beds, to 446 over time, to fully address the Capacity Review’s recommendations in regard to critical care.