Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has accused Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and the Government of having broken commitments in relation to health.
Speaking during Leader’s Questions in the Dáil this morning, Mr Kenny said the issue of step-down beds had to be dealt with and the number of beds was down in north Dublin by 140.
He said hotels were being built around the country on 24-hour shifts and the Government must take responsibility over the problem of beds in the health service.
Mr Ahern acknowledged there was a problem with step-down beds in north Dublin, mainly due to an ageing population.
The Taoiseach said it was not possible for some of these patients to go home because they may be on their own.
Mr Ahern said the Health Service Executive was providing 360 extra beds by way of contract with the private sector.
Of these, 220 are in the greater Dublin area, 100 in the south and 40 in the western region.
However Mr Kenny said the problem was not going to go away.
He said it was the Government's job to see that things were delivered and it was the epitome of failure of Fianna Fáil and the PDs after ten years.