Whilst no one really wishes to end up in a hospital bed, not all froms of complex care  can be delivered at home.  From time to time , we need a bed in hospital either for some very urgent life saving  measure or  some somewhat  planned routine treatment/operation etc. Also lots of things are done in hospitals which do not require a bed or overnight stay.   The  question is , do our hospitals have adequate numbers of beds  for the needs of the community. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development ( OECD ) has  recently  published some details of  bed provisions  in hospitals across the globe.  This makes an interesting reading..<p>

Among the major western european countries , Germany has the largest number 8.27  per  1000 adult population -- Austria comes next with 7.65;Hungary 7.17; Poland  6.55  etc   The UK  have  only  2.95 !  only higher than in Sweden with  2.71.  Japan , on the other side of the world has nearly 13.5 per thousand.  Only  the bed numbers  can not tell the  full story;  despite  a 'low' bed numbers in hospitals, Sweden has excellent community service provisions and most of the health care can be delivered at home  or at community centres.  Provisions  in countries  eg  India , Mexico ,Chile and Indonesia  are much lower  and  often uncertain. <p>

So   do we need a massive increase in hospital beds?  I think not ; just having hundreds of beds means nothing - lots of other things are required .  Perhaps we do need some increase  - yet  I am not sure, that by itself,  that  would stop   trolley waits in casualty rooms  or  transfer of patients from ward to ward    and also discharge of many  elderly  vulnerable patients before they are ready.   

Care needs to be  a combined multidisciplinary measure jointly between  the community and  the hospitals.  Just  passing the buck  to one will not solve anything...