The Junior Minister for Older People says she's "genuinely concerned" about a trend she has seen in the last 3 months in relation to nursing homes.
Mary Butler says some operators appear to be closing their current businesses in favour of accommodating Ukrainian refugees.
There is no requirement to be registered with HIQA if they do this.
Minister Butler told WLR FM that an unprecedented number of nursing homes have closed in the last three months:
That's a real worry for me at the moment and we're seeing it around the country.
There is a bit of a contagion effect at the moment.
We're certainly looking at a cooling off period when a nursing home closes.
A cooling off period before they can have a change of use.
We're looking at everything because I am genuinely concerned over everything I've seen the last 2 months.