The Winter Healthcare Plan, published recently by the HSE, has been described as "a sham plan" by a Mayo Fianna Fail TD.

The Saolta Hospital group admitted to Midwest News last week that, despite the additional funding provided for the Winter Plan in the western region, no extra beds will open at either Mayo or Galway University Hospitals.

Meanwhile, updated figures show that 3,247 bed days have been lost at Mayo University Hospital since the start of this year.

Fianna Fail's deputy leader Dara Calleary says this figure represents people in hospital who do not need to be there, but he claims the required step-down services are not in place to support their discharge from hospital.

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