Beds, beds, beds – it’s not rocket science.

Beds, beds, beds – it’s not rocket science.

Beds, beds, beds – it’s not rocket science.

One of the big reasons why Ireland has such long hospital waiting lists, is a basic shortage of hospital beds.

Now we have the proof, in a new study from the Economic Social & Research Institute.

It says that there may be a bed capacity shortfall of around 1,000 inpatient beds in public acute hospitals.

That is almost 10% of the current bed capacity, which is astonishing.
It says this bed capacity deficit is likely a key contributor to recent overcrowding issues experienced in public acute hospitals.

The study says that in addition to the deficit that currently exists in the system, over 300 additional inpatient beds are needed each year, to keep up with demand pressures from our increasing and ageing population.
The authors cite OECD and European Union statistics showing that the public acute hospital system has amongst the lowest inpatient bed per head of population compared to comparator countries.

According to the HSE National Service Plan for 2023, just published, extra general acute beds will come on stream this year, bringing the total increase since 2020 to 1,179.

Beds are expensive as they have to be staffed by doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants and lab and diagnostic staff.

With this huge bed shortage, it is not a surprise that many Irish people are opting to use the EU Cross Border Healthcare Directive, to get healthcare abroad.