Dublin People

5,000 extra hospital beds needed to help ease health crisis, says Kenny

People Before Profit TD and spokesperson on Health, Gino Kenny, has called on the Minister for Health to commit to 5,000 extra hospital beds in the public health system, including bringing private hospitals into public ownership.

Deputy Kenny said the crisis at the health service is due to a “lack of capacity at its core.”

“The most recent comparative data shows that the Republic has just 2.9 hospital beds per 1,000 of population, little more than half the EU average of 5.3 beds per 1,000.

“An extra 5,000 hospital beds are urgently needed in the public health system to address this core capacity problem.”

In the early 1980s Ireland had 17,500 hospital beds while today that number is just over 11,000.

“This is the same as it was in 2009 when we had a population that was half a million lower than now,” Deputy Kenny says.

“Vast amounts of public monies are being drained off into the private sector, which also benefits from massive tax subsidies.

“Three weeks ago, Larry Goodman’s Blackrock Clinic reported a doubling of profits to €14.5 million on revenues of €158.5 million.

“The profiteering from health needs must stop and the private hospitals must be absorbed into the public system to contribute to the extra capacity needed.”

Deputy Kenny called on Minister Donnelly to “give a clear, time-bound commitment to an extra 5,000 hospital beds, including taking the private hospitals into public ownership, to bring this interminable crisis to an end.”

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