Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Superannuation, etc., of Staffs of Voluntary Hospitals.

asked the Minister for Health if any further steps have been taken to extend to nurses and nursing attendants in voluntary hospitals the superannuation provisions, sickness benefits, conditions of employment and other advantages at present enjoyed by similar staff employed in State hospitals.

As the Deputy is aware, the conditions of service of nursing staffs in voluntary hospitals are matters for determination by the authorities of those hospitals in the first instance, and I am concerned only in regard to the extent to which expenditure arising should rank for recoupment from the Hospitals' Trust Fund by way of deficit payments.

The Hospitals Commission have, with my consent, informed the participating voluntary hospitals that expenditure arising from the adoption by them of the inclusive salary scales and temporary bonus additions, which I approved some time ago for nursing staffs of local authority hospitals, and from the adoption of superannuation schemes which provide for benefits within the limits laid down for local authority staffs in the Local Government (Superannuation) Act, 1948, will rank for recoupment in the manner mentioned.