Major hospital faces €21m shortfall in upgrade of medical equipment
ONE of the country's busiest hospitals will need to replace €24m worth of medical equipment over the coming years – however it has so far received just over €3m to do so.
Beaumont Hospital in Dublin has welcomed the €3.08m in Health Service Executive (HSE) funding it has received to update a range of diagnostic and anaesthetic equipment in the light of the current financial crisis in the health sector.
A review of equipment carried out by the hospital authorities last year found that €24m would be needed over the following three years to upgrade a variety of ageing equipment including X-ray machines and ensure they are working at optimum efficiency.
Initially, the HSE indicated it would make €500,000 available to Beaumont for the replacement of equipment for 2012, however this was later increased to €3.08m.
Beaumont has yet to hear how much it will be allocated for 2013, but its own review indicated that €8m would be needed and another €7m in 2014.
A spokesman for the hospital said it was prioritising which equipment needed to be replaced on a rolling basis.
However, it is understood that fundraising by the hospital will not be used to replace existing equipment as this tends to be used to purchase new machinery.
"The hospital very much wants to welcome and acknowledge the extent to which the HSE has recognised the need we have," it said in a statement.
"We are already in the process of engaging with the HSE for 2013."
The HSE is expected to publish its service plan for 2013 in the next two weeks, which will set out how much hospitals will receive for the year ahead.
Details of the plan are currently being finalised, including how much will be allocated for the medical card scheme and community services.