ESRI Research Bulletin

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

ESRI Research Bulletin Articles provide short summaries of work published by ESRI researchers and overviews of thematic areas covered by ESRI programmes of research. Bulletin Articles are designed to be easily accessible to a wide readership. A reference or references to the full publication is included at the start of each Bulletin article.

November 14, 2018
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The Irish hospital system at present does not have enough hospital beds to meet demand for care adequately. When measured against other OECD countries, Ireland has a low supply of hospital beds and records the highest rate of patient bed occupancy at 95 per cent. The expected rapid growth and ageing of the Irish population is projected to increase demand for hospital care further. This means that in the coming years there will be an even greater need to increase the number of available hospital beds. This paper employs the ESRI HIPPOCRATES healthcare projection model to project the number of public and private hospital beds that may be required between 2015 and 2030. Importantly, in developing these projections we take into account the ability to move care to non-hospital settings.