Taoiseach, Minister Harris and Minister Donohoe announce 250 projects and €2 billion investment in the Health Service Executive’s Capital Plan

2nd September, 2019

Over €2 billion capital investment for the Public Health Services over the next three years

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe TD have today (2nd September 2019) announced the publication of the Health Service Executive’s Capital Plan.

Welcoming the publication of the plan, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “Under Project Ireland 2040, we are doubling investment in healthcare infrastructure and equipment from €5 billion in the last ten year period to more than €10bn in this one.  

“This Plan sets out how we will spend more than €2 billion between now and 2021 on new hospitals, better local health facilities in your community and hundreds of much needed extra hospital beds.

 “This investment comes at a time of positive progress in our health service, despite the considerable challenges we still face. Waiting times for operations and procedures at long last are going down.  By the end of this year, the number of hospital beds will be back above 11,000 for the first time since 2009. More and more people can go to the doctor free of charge and we have a new contract in place for our GPs and nurses.

“By investing in better facilities, newer equipment and more bricks and mortar, we are building a health service to provide you with the care you need, when you need it.”

Announcing the publication of the Capital Plan, Minister Harris said: “The Capital Plan being published today is a continued sign of the investment taking place in our health service.

“This is phase one of our ten year capital investment programme. Over the next three years, we are committing to 250 projects across the country, 480 new beds, 30 new primary care centres, 58 community nursing units, and significant investment in mental health and disability projects in the community.

“As we reform the health service in line with Sláintecare, it is vital we continue to invest in capital infrastructure and crucially, invest in the community and social care settings.”

This Capital Plan provides for the spending of just over €2 billion on health capital projects from 2019 to 2021 including:
•        Over €1 billion on Government priorities – new Children’s Hospital, National Rehabilitation Hospital, National Forensic Mental Health facility in Portrane and Radiation Oncology facilities in Cork, Galway and Dublin;
•        €265m over the three years to replace / refurbish residences for older people and people with a disability;
•        €300m to maintain and upgrade facilities, equipment and ambulances throughout the country.
•        Over €335m for a wide range capital projects at individual hospital and primary/community facilities to provide modern health accommodation and equipment to improve and expand service provision.
•        Progressing three new hospitals to drive down waiting lists.

This increased capital funding provision has enabled the HSE to plan and fund progress in respect of the projects that were included in previous plans and to progress additional evaluated and prioritised projects in 2019 including Government priority programmes and major capital projects.

The Department of Health has been working with the Health Service Executive and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to develop a multi-annual capital plan for the health services in the context of the increased costs of the new Children’s Hospital project in 2019 and beyond.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe said: “Project Ireland 2040 is the overarching policy and planning framework for the social, economic and cultural development of our country.
“Our plan provides significant public investment in health infrastructure to meet our current infrastructure needs, to cater for an estimated population growth of one million people and to respond to Ireland’s changing demographic profile.

“It will also enable us to realise our vision for a high quality, safe, accessible and sustainable healthcare system. We will do this through the provision of capital funding of €10.9 billion over the next decade, which will allow for a solid, ambitious plan to improve our health services.”