Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly called on the HSE to clarify the inclusion of the closure of long-term care beds in the HSE Service Plan published today as a cost reduction measure for the coming year.
Speaking this evening, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The HSE Service Plan on the whole is a general regurgitation of service targets from the 2019 plan which were never achieved, but the finance section contains a curious inclusion for cost reduction – the proposed closure of long-term care beds at a number of locations.
“Within the Service Plan, under the heading of ‘Areas where cost reduction is required’, it states that there is a need for the ‘Reconfiguration within the public long-term care bed stock to address value for money issues around the public cost of care in a number of locations. This will require significant internal focus and external support, up to and including the closure of beds, preferably temporarily, to deliver the 4-5% cost reduction required within 2020′.
“Effectively, this means the removal of valuable long-term care beds in 2020.
“Given the ‘Health Service Capacity Review 2018’ stated that there was a need for a 39% increase in the number of long-term care beds within the health service between now and 2031, any attempt by the HSE to close these beds is a contradiction to already existing policy.
“The CEO of the HSE and the Minister for Health need to clarify why the decision has been taken to close beds to achieve cost reduction and outline where the beds due to be closed are located.”