Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has called on Health Minister James Reilly to give assurances that Beaumont Hospital is fully funded until the end of 2012.

“I am aware that staff at Beaumont Hospital are worried that there may not be adequate funding available from October of this year,” Deputy Kelleher said.

“If money is running out does this mean there will be more bed closures and staff shortages and lay-offs? If so, this will have detrimental effect on services to patients.

“Information provided to me already indicates that an average of 665 bed days were lost at Beaumont Hospital every week since the start of the year (up to May 14th).”

Beaumont lost 12,646 bed days between January 1st and May 14th this year due to delayed discharges. This represents 13.5% of the total number of days (93,698) lost across all hospitals in that period.

Deputy Kelleher concluded: “Minister Reilly needs to act now to prevent any further deterioration in services at Beaumont Hospital. Frontline services must be funded and protected through to the end of 2012 and the Minister must ensure this is done.”