Written answers

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Photo of Pádraig Mac LochlainnPádraig Mac Lochlainn (Donegal, Sinn Fein)
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587. To ask the Minister for Health when the remaining nine beds in the short stay ward at Letterkenny University Hospital will be permanently reopened; and when the necessary staff will be appointed. [2836/20]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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The Health Service Capacity Review published in 2018 was clear on the need for a major investment in additional capacity in both hospital and community services combined with a widescale reform of the manner and the location of where health services are provided.

Progress has been made on increasing capacity. Since 2017, an additional 274 acute hospital beds opened nationally.

In addition, the provision of an additional 75 acute beds and 70 community beds was a key component of the Winter Plan 2018/19. 66 of these beds remain open on an on-going basis, including 5 additional beds in Letterkenny University Hospital.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly. 

Furthermore, the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) agreed to support the marginal costs of funding 224 additional beds for three months initially to the end of March 2020.

As of 2 March, the HSE has confirmed that 187 of those beds have opened as planned and 183 remain open including 10 additional beds in Letterkenny University Hospital. My Department has now confirmed with the NTPF that additional funding is being made available until the end of June 2020.

The Government is tackling the challenges that are facing the emergency departments in our hospitals. In addition to the immediate measures being undertaken in the Winter Plan, the Government through the Sláintecare Strategy and the investment being made in accordance Project Ireland 2040, is addressing the issues of access to healthcare and capacity in the system.


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