Thursday, 3 October 2019
Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters
Hospital Accommodation Provision
Catherine Byrne (Dublin South Central, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source
I acknowledge it is not the first time I have heard the Senator's concerns and anger. I can understand his frustration. It must be acknowledged that attendances at emergency departments are increasing on a yearly basis and the health service capacity review indicates that Ireland has among the highest acute bed occupancy rate in the developed world. Against that backdrop, the HSE capacity review recommended an increase in acute beds to more than 2,600 by 2031 to support the projected increase in demand for the service.
I acknowledge that the Senator has spoken out so strongly regarding the expressions of support from the Ministers for Education and Skills and Health on the additional beds. I assure the Senator I will make it my business, as I always do, to send a transcript to their offices when I receive it later, and I will highlight the concerns that have been raised, not only by the Senator today but by other Senators in the past. Although I cannot speak on behalf of the two Ministers in regard to what they said on radio, I assure the Senator that both of them will receive a copy of the transcript later today. It is up to him after that as to what he wants to do about the local radio interviews. I acknowledge the fact there is much frustration and that beds were promised, as he said. If we are going to promise to do something, I acknowledge that, somewhere along the line, it has to be done. I will convey his concerns to both Ministers.