Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dispensary Patients.

22.

asked the Minister for Health the estimated average number of dispensary patients eligible for treatment by each dispensary doctor (a) in Dublin city, (b) in large towns and (c) in rural areas.

As the reply is in the form of a tabular statement, I propose with your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, to circulate it with the Official Report.

Following is the statement:

The figures in the second column relate to the number of persons including their dependants, covered by medical cards current at 30th September, 1960, the latest date for which such statistics are available in my Department, save for Dublin County Borough as indicated.

Area

Average number of persons eligible for general medical services from each dispensary medical officer in area.

Dublin County Borough

1,570 (at 13-2-61)

Large towns (over 10,000 population) (a)

Cork County Borough

2,252 (b)

Limerick County Borough

2,935 (b)

Waterford County Borough

3,944

Dún Laoghaire Borough

1,123

Galway

3,629 (b)

Dundalk

2,587

Drogheda

2,266

Sligo

1,495

Tralee

2,773

Bray

1,541

Wexford

2,868

Clonmel

1,925

Kilkenny

1,777

In remainder of country (mainly rural)

1,077

(a) Figures given are for dispensary districts containing these towns. These districts do not coincide with the town boundaries and include portion of the contiguous rural area.

(b) Reorganisation of Dispensary Districts is under consideration by this Department and the health authority.

23.

asked the Minister for Health the total number of dispensary patients in each year from 1952 to the most recent available date.

24.

asked the Minister for Health the percentage of the total number of citizens in the State to whom medical cards have been issued in each year since 1952 to the most recent date for which figures are available.

With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take questions Nos. 23 and 24 together and to circulate, with the Official Report, a tabular statement containing the relevant information to the extent available in my Department.

For the purpose of replying to question No. 24, I am assuming that the information desired by the Deputy is the percentage of the total population, who held medical cards or who were dependants of persons who held such cards, issued by local health authorities under Section 14 of the Health Act, 1953. As to question No. 23, information is not available in my Department regarding the numbers of patients, covered by medical cards, who were actually attended by district medical officers each year. The tabular statement to be circulated shows, however, at intervals from 1956 to 1960, the total numbers of persons, including dependants, covered by medical cards since the relevant statistics were compiled. As explained in my reply on 27th April, 1960, to a question by Deputy Kyne, comprehensive statistics of the numbers of persons entitled to services under Section 14 of the Health Act, 1953, were not collected prior to 1956.

Following is the tabular statement:

Total number of persons, including dependants, covered by medical cards at—

(1) as percentage of total population (1956 Census)

(1)

(2)

Date

No.

%

29/2/56 (a)

584,454

20.2

31/3/57 (a)

810,991

28.0

30/6/57

819,583

28.3

31/3/58

812,612

28.0

31/3/59

853,102

29.4

31/3/60

797,478

27.5

30/9/60 (b)

781,211

27.0

(a) The figures quoted for 29/2/56 and 31/3/57 are based on the total number of applications for medical cards granted up to these dates. The remaining figures on the table relate to the actual number of persons, including dependants, covered by medical cards, current at the respective dates indicated.

(b) Latest available figures.