Updated: 14/12/16 : 06:56:00
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HSE's 2017 service plan expected to tackle hospital overcrowding

The Health Service Executive will publish its €14 billion service plan for 2017 today.

RTÉ reports that the plan is expected to commit to improvements in emergency department overcrowding, as well as increased hospital funding.

HSE Service Plans have been forced to deal with cuts, or secure major savings in recent years.

But as a result of Budget 2017, the HSE has been given an extra €450 million next year.

However, any increase in pay for the executive’s 105,000 staff, arising from future public pay discussions, would have a significant impact on its budget.

Next year, hospitals will see a modest increase, as will mental health.

But hospital overcrowding is getting worse and the real winter is still ahead.

Yesterday, there were 541 patients on trolleys or on wards, 24 in Sligo University Hospital, waiting for a bed, among one of the highest levels seen this year.

From 2017, the HSE has to ensure no more than 236 patients are on trolleys on any single day.