'Is there physical space in our hospitals that we can utilise now,' Harris asks HSE

The HSE has been asked to identify where there is room for more beds to increase hospital capacity.

Health Minister Simon Harris.

Health Minister Simon Harris says it is something that can be done to address overcrowding in the short term.

He has defended the Sláintecare report which some have criticised for being a plan for the future without any action now.

Minister Harris says there needs to be a mix of long and short-term planning.

He said: "Things need to happen now. My focus is two-fold in relation to the issue of access now. One is trying to increase capacity with the health service. We are continuing to open more hospital beds.

I have asked the HSE to identify where within the health service is there physical space for more hospital beds now whilst we are planning on building new wings onto hospitals and extending them because we know that takes time. Is there physical space in some of our hospitals that we can utilise now?

- Digital Desk


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