Ireland has a chronic shortage of inpatient hospital beds.

A new study by the ESRI suggests 1 thousand beds are needed immediately to deal with the number of patients already seeking care.

While 300 more beds will be needed every year to address population growth and a patient base that is getting older.

The Government planned to open 261 acute beds this year but only 162 or 62 per cent of these were additional beds.

The Irish Hospital Consultants Association's Martin Varley says we're already way behind other EU countries.

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