The Department of Health remains deeply concerned about the situation in Irish hospitals and across the health and social care system. This week, they released the following statement.

The regional planning for winter pressures has been spelt out publicly and in detail.

It has always been clear that these plans will only mitigate the problems, rather than resolve them.


The fundamental reality is that we have a serious mismatch between demand for care and the capacity of the system to provide it.

Neighbouring jurisdictions are facing similar challenges.

We need everyone across society to support our health service in every way they can.

Hospitals do not have unlimited capacity and it is imperative that when patients have been deemed medically fit they leave the hospital setting.

Every delayed discharge means a bed is being withheld from a very sick person waiting in an emergency department or in an ambulance outside a hospital, and further impacts on the system’s ability to respond to need in the community.

Details of winter health service planning initiatives were provided by then Health Minister Robin Swann in a statement to the Assembly last month.

The statement covered funding allocations to help sustain operational resilience and detailed a range of actions across secondary care, social care, primary care, workforce, vaccination programmes, COVID-19 testing, and COVID-19 treatments.

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