HSE Set to Fall Well Short of Their Own ICU Bed Numbers Target For 2021
The HSE looks like it is going to fall short - by about a third - in their target for increasing the number of ICU beds this year.
The HSE’s critical care bed target was to deliver an additional 66 critical care beds by 31 December 2021 bringing the total to 321 beds. However, according to data released to the leader of Aontú, Peadar Tóibín TD, there are currently only 42 of the planned 66 beds open, which is a total of 297 critical care beds now open.
Speaking today the Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD said:
"We are now nearing the end of the year, and it looks as though the HSE will have fallen short on their promised delivery of ICU beds by a third of their target/ projections. This is very bad news, for any family who has a sick loved one, who may be in need of intensive care over the Christmas period. At the start of the pandemic, we in Aontú called on the government to set aside funding and increase ICU capacity in the country. In is phenomenal that despite all the promises, the HSE / government look like they have not been able to reach their targets"
Deputy Tóibín continued: "Every time the government shut businesses down, or impose restrictions, without any research having been conducted on the impact of such restrictions on mental health or the economy, they cite our poor ICU capacity. How many times have we had government, NPHET or HSE representatives in the media or on twitter projecting blame for the Covid crisis onto members of the public, while never explaining what measures government have taken to expand ICU capacity"?
"10 years ago a HSE report stated that we needed 560 ICU beds. Given that just over a 100 beds are taken up with Covid patients and there are over 250 ICU beds missing from due to a lack of investment, Government under investment is twice as damaging to ICU capacity than Covid. €41 billion has been spent in this state on the cost to society of Covid. If a fraction of this money was spent on Hospital Capacity more lives could be saved and the Government would not have had to lean restrictions for as long. Also there are 1 million people on hospital waiting lists and many illnesses are going un diagnosed and untreated. There will be a tidal wave of advanced illnesses that will need more invasive and longer treatment".
"We cannot keep placing the weight of this pandemic onto the shoulders of society. The government's chopping and changing policy, PR disasters and lack of investment or commitment to antigen tests, ventilation in schools, or improved ICU capacity, along with the slow and confusing rollout of booster shots, is largely to blame for the shambles we find ourselves in today. Aontú is calling on the government to explain fully and comprehensively why they have failed to meet their targets in terms of increasing the number of ICU beds in the State. It is absolutely shameful", concluded Tóibín