The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, and the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, have today welcomed a new public private partnership between the HSE and the Private Hospitals’ Association, which will lease private hospitals to the HSE as part of the national effort to respond to the Covid-19 emergency.
Under the terms of the partnership, the private hospitals will be leased for use as public hospitals for the duration, treating both Covid-19 and non Covid-19 patients. The arrangement will be in place for an initial three-month period, with an option to extend it after that on a mutually-agreed basis.
The private hospital sector, which is made up of 19 hospitals, has an estimated bed capacity of 1,900 inpatient beds, 600 day beds as well as 47 ICU and 54 HDU beds. This includes nearly 1,000 single bed inpatient rooms. This additional capacity will be critically important as we respond to this national health emergency. The sector also has 194 ventilators as well as 9 laboratory services on sites.
The Taoiseach and Minister Harris extended their thanks to the Private Hospitals’ Association for their swift response to the national emergency, their close co-operation with the State and their willingness to make these additional facilities available.
The Taoiseach said:
“We’re in the middle of a national public health emergency, and we need to do all we can to increase the capacity of our hospitals so we can provide critical care to those who need it. It’s all hands on deck in this national effort, and I am very pleased that the private hospitals have agreed to come on board and make their facilities available. The public and private sectors are tooling up and working together for the common good.
“The Government will take all the necessary steps to increase our hospital capacity and it’s more important than ever for each and every one of us to do all we can in our own lives to flatten the curve, supress and stop the spread of the coronavirus. Stay at home, and wash your hands regularly.”
Minister Harris said:
“This is a national emergency and it requires a national effort. The owners and management of private hospitals have responded in the national interest and for the common purpose as part of the Covid-19 response.
“I want to thank my Department, the HSE and the private hospitals for all of their work over the weekend to make this happen. This additional capacity is vital for the health service as we navigate our way through this pandemic.”