Johnny Mythen TD was speaking in response to a parliamentary question that stated the additional 22 beds that were opened in Wexford General Hospital since the outbreak of Covid-19 was from once- off funding.
Teachta Mythen said: “I was shocked to read a recent reply from the HSE to a question I put to them regarding the 22 additional beds that were opened in 2020 in Wexford General Hospital. The HSE informed me that the funding for these beds was not continuous, which gives a strong indication that they will be closed at the end of this year.
“I have written to the Minister urging him to re-consider this and fund the beds to be open on a permanent basis.
“We don’t know how long Covid-19 will be with us but we know that it may well be with us into 2021. These beds, if needed in 2020, surely then will be needed for 2021?
“But even if the extra capacity is not needed for the pandemic, there was already a capacity issue in Wexford general hospital. On 16/08/2019 (this week last year) the INMO reports that there were 22 people on trolleys in Wexford General Hospital, ironically the exact number of beds that we are discussing here.
“The oncoming flu season combined with the increase in Covid-19 cases, would logically suggest that these additional beds will be needed in Wexford General.
“These people deserve a bed. The staff in the hospital deserve to be resourced to deal with the demand.
“The Minister needs to address this as soon as possible in preparations for next year.”