How many beds? Capacity implications of hospital care demand projections in the Irish hospital system, 2015‐2030

October 2, 2018

The International Journal of Health Planning and Management, 2018, pp. 1-14

Existing Irish hospital bed capacity is low by international standards while Ireland also reports the highest inpatient bed occupancy rate across OECD countries. Moreover, strong projected population growth and ageing is expected to increase demand for hospital care substantially by 2030. Reform proposals have suggested that increased investment and access to nonacute care may mitigate some increased demand for hospital care over the next number of years, and it is in this context that the Irish government has committed to increase the supply of public hospital beds by 2600 by 2027. Incorporating assumptions on the rebalancing of care to nonhospital settings, this paper analyses the capacity implications of projected demand for hospital care in Ireland to 2030.