The new head of the Health Service Executive has said private rooms will be included in the National Children's Hospital, but he wants to maximise capacity in the public health system.

Director General Paul Reid said he valued the role of private healthcare and wanted to work closely with providers. 

Mr Reid said the decision to include private facilities in the children's hospital was a matter for the Minister for Health. 

He added that the issue of private care in public hospitals was the subject of a review by Dr Donal de Buitléir, which would give a better understanding of the issue.

"From my perspective I hugely value the role that private care providers provide for the health care system in Ireland. It is a very significant element of our healthcare and I want to work very closely with them."

Mr Reid also addressed criticism of the absence of a financial contingency fund in the HSE for strikes, patient surges or the impact of weather events. 

Fianna Fáil has said not having such a fund was a "mistake" 

"I'm not aware that any government department has a contingency fund. They budget for the services that they are setting out to deliver," Mr Reid said. 

He accepted that acute services were under significant pressure but said, "we are looking at what funds are needed for our services and how can we move to delivering those services in a very different way."