The provision of services at hospitals on the north side of Dublin is a matter for the Eastern Regional Health Authority in the first instance. My Department has, therefore, asked the chief executive officer of the authority to investigate the matters raised and to reply directly to the Deputy.
My Department carried out a review of acute hospital bed capacity which identified a requirement for an additional 3,000 acute beds in acute hospitals by 2011. This requirement is reflected in the Government's health strategy, Quality and Fairness — A Health System for You. I have provided funding of €118 million for the provision of an additional 709 beds in hospitals throughout the country. Some 568 of these have been commissioned to date, of which 253 are in the Eastern Regional Health Authority area. The remaining beds are due to come on stream during this year.