The Health Service Capacity Review published last year was clear on the need for a major investment in additional capacity in both hospital and community – combined with a wide scale reform of the manner and the location of where health services are provided.
An additional 267 acute hospital beds opened under the Winter Initiative 2017/2018, and the National Service Plan for 2019 provides for a comprehensive capacity programme. The main elements of the 2019 capacity programme are:
- the provision of 75 acute beds and 70 community beds under the Winter Plan 2018/19, including 5 beds that opened in Letterkenny University Hospital in June 2019;
- 47 additional beds, including a 40-bed modular build in South Tipperary General Hospital, 4 HDU beds in Cork University Hospital, and 3 HDU beds in the Mater which are due to open by Q4 2019;
- preparation of 202 beds during 2019, including a further 15 beds in Letterkenny University Hospital, with a view to bringing this extra capacity into operation in Q1 of 2020;
- commencement of works on a 60-bed modular ward in University Hospital Limerick.
With regard to the specific question the Deputy has asked, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly.