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Covid-19 Pandemic

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 4 November 2020

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Ceisteanna (132, 133)

John Brady

Ceist:

132. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health if targets have been established for the provision of ICU care for Covid-19 infection cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34032/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Brady

Ceist:

133. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health the metrics established in order to measure the progress and performance of the HSE towards achieving targets for the provision of ICU care for Covid-19 infection cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34033/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 132 and 133 together.

Critical Care occupancy, particularly regarding Covid-19 patients, is closely monitored by the Department of Health and the HSE, with reports published on a daily basis on the HSE's website.

At the start of the year permanent adult critical care capacity in Ireland stood at 255 beds, according to the National Office of Clinical Audit. This included 204 Level 3 ICU beds and 51 Level 2 HDU beds. As part of the initial response to the pandemic, funding was provided for an additional 40 adult critical care beds in March 2020 as well as two paediatric beds. The HSE has advised that between 280 and 285 critical care beds are currently open, with the number open any given day subject to fluctuation in respect of available staff and other operational considerations.

Our critical care units have coped well so far, largely due to the fact that the curve was flattened successfully in early stages. As a result, our outcomes for Covid patients in ICU have compared well with other jurisdictions including the UK.

Budget 2021 will allocate funding totalling €52m in 2021 to critical care. This will retain, on a permanent basis, the 42 critical care beds put in place on a temporary basis this year and add significant new capacity. Funded adult critical care beds will increase to 321 by end 2021, an increase of 66 over the baseline number of 255 funded beds in 2020.

In relation to specific metrics and targets for the monitoring of intensive care units, this is a service matter and so I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

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