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Ireland's private hospitals to be used as public amid COVID-19 pandemic

EPA/MARKUS SCHOLZ
The nurse Jennifer Marwede takes care of an E. coli (EHEC) patient at the internistic intensive care unit of the university hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Luebeck, Germany, 07 June 2011.

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The Irish government announced that the country’s private hospitals are set to be leased for use as public ones for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, all 19 hospitals that constitute the private sector in Ireland will be temporarily used as part of the public system to provide essential services to coronavirus patients, as well as for urgent non-coronavirus elective procedures to free up capacity in major private hospitals.
The 19 private hospitals have an estimated capacity of 2,000 in-patient beds, 47 ICU beds, 600 day beds and 54 high dependency unit beds, which measures at around 17% of the capacity of the public hospitals.
Additionally, the private sector has 194 ventilators, 9 laboratories and 1,000 single-patient in-patient rooms that can be used for isolation.
“All patients treated in private hospitals under this arrangement will be public patients,” said Varadkar, adding that “We’re in the middle of a national public health emergency, and we need to do all we can to increase the capacity of our hospitals so we can provide critical care to those who need it.” 
The public-private agreement will be in effect for three months, with the possibility of a further extension. 
Ireland has recorded over 2,900 confirmed coronavirus cases and 54 deaths so far.

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