Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Government claim of ‘1,000 beds’ from co-location is a complete sham – Ó Caoláin

25 April, 2007


Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Health spokesperson Caoimhhghín Ó Caoláin has described as "a complete sham" the Government's claim that the private for-profit hospitals to be built under its co-location scheme will 'free up' for public patients 1,000 beds in public hospitals. In reply to a Dáil Question from Deputy Ó Caoláin, Health Minister Mary Harney has admitted that it is not possible to say how many beds will be provided.

Deputy Ó Caoláin stated:

"In attempting to defend its indefensible plan to allocate land at public hospital sites to the developers of private for-profit hospitals, the Government has claimed that 1,000 private beds currently in public hospitals would be moved to these new private hospitals. I asked the Minister the number of private beds that would be transferred to the new private hospitals at each site.

"The Minister is unable to tell how many beds will be transferred at each site. She did not provide an answer to my question as to how the number of beds would be determined in each case. How then can she claim that 1,000 beds will be provided?

"The Minister for Health has had to admit that she cannot tell how many beds will be 'freed up'. This exposes as a complete sham the main argument used by the Minister and by the Taoiseach, which he repeated yesterday in the Dáil, in defence of this plan.

"This co-location plan will reinforce the grossly inequitable two-tier hospital system. It should be scrapped now." ENDS

QUESTION NOS: 511 & 512

DÁIL QUESTIONS addressed to the Minister for Health and Children (Ms. Harney (Dublin Mid-West))

by Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

for WRITTEN ANSWER on 24/04/2007 addressed to the Minister for Health and Children (Ms. Harney (Dublin Mid-West))for on

* 511. To ask the Minister for Health and Children the final list of public hospital sites on which land will be allocated to developers of private for-profit hospitals under the co-location scheme; the time-scale for the completion of each of these private hospitals; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 24th April, 2007.

* 512. To ask the Minister for Health and Children the number of private beds which will be transferred from public hospitals to the new private hospitals at each site under the co-location scheme; the manner in which this number was determined in each case; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 24th April, 2007.

On foot of a Government decision, I issued a policy direction to the Health Service Executive (HSE) in July 2005 on the co-location of private hospitals on the sites of public hospitals in order to free up 1,000 beds for public patients.

My Department has been informed by the HSE that Invitation to Tender (ITT) documents were issued to the short-listed bidders on Thursday 19th April 2007 in relation to the following public hospital sites :-

1 Waterford Regional Hospital

2 Cork University Hospital

3 Limerick Regional Hospital

4 Sligo General Hospital

5 Beaumont Hospital

6 St. James's Hospital

It is expected that the Invitations To Tender for Connolly Hospital (Blanchardstown) and the Adelaide and Meath Hospital incorporating the National Children's Hospital (Tallaght) will issue at a later date.

Tenders are due to be submitted to the HSE by 17th May 2007. The HSE will evaluate the tenders and select the successful bidders during the following 2 weeks. Following that a "stand still" period of 2 weeks is required by procurement law before agreements can be signed with successful bidders. Pending completion of the tendering process, it is not possible to provide definitive time-scales for the completion of the new hospitals or of the number of private beds to be provided in each hospital.

Connect with Sinn Féin