Only 162 new hospital beds will be added in 2023
Most are set to be in The Mater Hospital.
Hospital inpatient capacity is set to be increased by only 162 beds this year despite a all-time record budget from the Department of Health.
The Irish Times has reported that the HSE has confirmed of the 261 inpatient beds announced in this year's capital plan, 99 of those will be to replace existing beds.
This leaves only 162 additional beds coming to Irish hospitals.
The new beds will be placed across five hospitals and half will be allocated to the Mater Hospital in Dublin.
The new beds at the Mater will be placed in two new ward blocks, with 40 in the first phase and 56 in the second.
Mallow General Hospital in Cork will be getting 20 new beds to replace those existing already and South Tipperary General Hospital will see 33 beds added.
Naas General Hospital will get a new 12 single-room modular unit and the Coombe Women's Hospital will receive one new bed as part of an upgrade to St Patrick's Ward.
According to a recent estimate published by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), the number of inpatient beds added is lower than expected as it originally said 1,000 new beds are needed in addition to 300 given each year.
Last week, a new 98 bed wing has opened at the Mater Hospital in Dublin.
The €103m Rock Wing now sees an additional 16 new intensive care unit beds and a new National Isolation Unit on top of the beds.
Each room is a single room and patients will be given the go-ahead to be brought in by the end of next month following systems tests.
The new National Isolation Unit is set to be used for major infectious disease cases and is planning to be used in the event of another pandemic.
The new nine storey building is set to treat around 5,000 patients each year and took the last two years to build following Covid-19 emergency legislation.