Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Maternity Health Services.

9.

asked the Minister for Health what the position of a person holding a medical card is in regard to the operation of the Maternity Health Services where the doctor who had agreed to give the services was not available on the occasion of the confinement of the person's wife and where the services had to be given by another doctor; and whether the doctor with whom the original agreement was made is responsible for the fees of the doctor giving the services; and, if not, who is responsible for such fees.

A medical practitioner who has entered into the standard agreement with a health authority for the provision of maternity and infant services under the Health Acts is required, under the terms of the agreement, to provide the services in person except where he is unable for a good reason to do so. In that event he shall, with the agreement of the woman (except in case of urgency) arrange for another medical practitioner to attend to provide the services, including, if necessary, attendance at the confinement, on his behalf. In such a case the health authority is not responsible for any payment to the second practitioner. The remuneration, if any, for his services would be a matter for himself and the doctor for whom he acted as substitute. This is the position irrespective of whether the patient is the holder of a medical card or is in the middle income group.