A major €385m investment package will be spent on replacing and refurbishing public nursing home facilities.
The investment is planned for 90 centres across the country between now and 2021.
It includes the replacement of 33 existing facilities, and the refurbishment or extension of 57 others.
In addition, the investment will deliver some 215 additional beds in centres being built or refurbished in locations identified as having particular capacity issues.
The investment is made up of €148m in the current HSE capital plan and a further €237m capital made available under the government's recently published multi-annual Capital Plan.
In addition, 10 homes costing €150m are likely to be provided for which public private partnerships (PPP) or alternative funding arrangements will be considered.
Minister for Social Care Kathleen Lynch said that, as a result of this investment, it is intended that all public nursing homes will be compliant with the environmental aspects of the Health Information and Quality Authority's (HIQA) standards by 2021.
"The 90 facilities between them have 4,723 beds. Having visited very many of these facilities I know that residents and their families attest to the excellence of the care received, but the physical environment needs improvement," she said.
Increasing the number of public nursing home beds is also seen as playing a role in alleviating the Emergency Department crisis.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation's figures showed that 517 patients were languishing on trolleys and on wards waiting for a bed yesterday.
A spokesman for St Vincent's University Hospital said yesterday it had cancelled all elective procedures for the next 24 hours due to a surge in the number of people attending the Emergency Department (ED) who required admission.
Every available bed space in the hospital was brought into service, he said.