Government need to clarify the exact number and breakdown of beds and staff in the HSE Winter Plan

24 September 2020
  • Govt have trumpeted 1500 new beds but there are only an additional 500 contained with the plan
  • No detail on where additional staff will come from

The Government need to clarify the exact number and breakdown of beds in the HSE Winter Plan according to Labour Leader, Alan Kelly T.D who was speaking at Leaders Questions after the launch of the HSE Winter Plan.

Deputy Kelly said:

“The Government have been trumpeting that there would be 1500 new beds, however 830 new acute beds were announced and 409 of them already in place, 62 new critical care beds were announced but 45 are already in place, 484 new sub-acute beds are coming but 395 of them are already in place so really there’s 89.

“The Government have been saying there’d be 1500 new beds will be delivered but actually when you add it up its just over 500 new beds and we don’t have any real breakdown on where those beds are going because we really need to know where the concentration will be, we have huge issues in the acute centre in the Mid-West and in Cork University Hospital as well, we know we have wards in Beaumont Hospital closed because of Covid outbreaks.

“What is being spun here is very different to the reality, I want you to give assurances in relation to these figures that we will have the capacity because when Covid goes into hospitals, beds disappear and wards close.

“There’s ambitious plans for recruitment, 12500 people, 5000 before Christmas and 7500 afterwards, Phil Ni hEadha of the INMO has pointed out that some nurses have come back from abroad and haven’t been able to get fulltime jobs already. What’s going to radically change and where are we going to get the consultants, we require that your Minister is out on a limb on as having promised.

Speaking after Minister Eamon Ryan could not give him any breakdown on the detail of the plan, Deputy Kelly continued:

“The Minister doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about, he doesn’t know the data, this plan has been prepared a couple of weeks. Why is the Government saying that’s 1500 beds coming when the real figure is a third of that and where are they going? The Government also need to publish the data to get a correlation of the number of people diagnosed with cancer versus this time last year. The Minister for Health always talks about following the data and the fact that Minister taking Leaders Questions did not know the breakdown of his own Government’s winter plan for the health service is unbelievable

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