Nursing home group Carechoice has kicked off a €100m investment plan that will see it build and acquire new homes across the country.
Carechoice has drawn up plans to build three new nursing homes - one of which has already started - as well as building major extensions at six of its existing homes.
The €100m plan will also see the rapidly expanding group make further acquisitions that will make it the biggest player in the market, said its chief executive Noel Boyle. "We will treble the size of our business by 2023 and will end up with 13 homes approximately and approximately 1,600 beds," he said in an interview with the Sunday Independent.
The expansion plan will help create as many as 600 new jobs this year alone and the investment boost could help Carechoice drive badly needed consolidation within Ireland's fragmented nursing home sector, said Boyle.
The new plans have been driven by a growing shortage of nursing home beds in Ireland.
The population of over 65s has risen by 19pc since 2011 and is forecast to double over the next 20 years.
That will lead to a shortfall of as many as 10,000 nursing home beds by 2036, said Boyle.
Carechoice was acquired in 2017 by French investment fund InfraVia Capital Partners - which also owns the Mater Private Hospital Group - for a reported €70m.
The new owners have since acquired three more nursing homes in Meath and Dublin to add to the previously mainly Cork and Waterford-based portfolio.
"When InfraVia came in we had six homes and a little over 500 beds. Today we have nine homes and 800 beds."
The new expansion plan will see the scale of the business treble again over the next four years, said Boyle.
"The market dynamics are driving growth and driving investment," he said. "The ever increasing regulations we see as positive in that its critical for us to continue to invest in care and in our residents well being, in our staff.
"The anticipated growth over the next 20 years does represent an opportunity. We are investing heavily in the sector both in adding capacity and in the quality of care and innovation."
Boyle said that around 95pc of his patients have come through the Government's Fair Deal scheme, an incentive that allows users to pay a certain proportion of their costs based on the value of their assets.
The Carechoice chief said that there were improvements that could be made in the scheme.
Sunday Indo Business