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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 20 Mar 1969

Vol. 239 No. 5

Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Dispensary Doctor Appointments.


asked the Minister for Health the present position with regard to the provision of a dispensary doctor for the Clonmellon and Crossakiel areas on the Meath-Westmeath borders.

I presume that the question refers to the appointment of a resident district medical officer. I understand that the employing health authority has been unsuccessful in appointing a doctor who would be prepared to reside within the dispensary district. A service for eligible persons is, however, being provided by a doctor who is resident in an outside area.

Would the Minister not agree that a doctor who is resident 30 miles from portion of the area is a very unsatisfactory substitute for a doctor resident in the area and would he indicate to the employing authority that they should make an effort to get a doctor resident nearer the area to act as locum until a doctor is appointed, if ever?

The answer to the first part of the Deputy's supplementary question is yes, definitely, and the answer to the second part is yes, I will. We have already been urging the local authority to make better arrangements than the existing ones with which we are not satisfied but I will make further representations arising out of the Deputy's question.

The Minister is aware that, so far, they do not seem to be making any effort. The attitude seems to be, we have a doctor and why worry about those who need him.

I am not satisfied with the attitude of the local authority in this matter.

The Minister is not the only one who is not satisfied.


asked the Minister for Health if, in view of the fact that there are at present eleven temporary dispensary doctors in County Wexford, he will arrange for the filling of the permanent posts as soon as possible.

The Wexford County Council have recently requested the Local Appointments Commissioners to recommend doctors for the permanent dispensary appointments at Bannow, Killann and Oulart Dispensary Districts, where there are temporary appointments at present. Permanent appointments are not being made in any other dispensary districts in County Wexford where there are at present temporary appointments. This accords with the general decision not to make permanent dispensary appointments pending the introduction of a revised general medical service with choice of doctor, except in districts where permanent appointments could be made without creating difficulties on the introduction of the new service.


asked the Minister for Health the up-to-date position with regard to the urgent need to provide a permanent dispensary doctor to meet the needs of the people in the Ballingarry area, Thurles, County Tipperary.

I understand that the Tipperary (SR) County Council is at present awaiting a recommendation of a person for appointment as permanent dispensary doctor for the Ballingarry Dispensary District from the Local Appointments Commissioners as a result of the competition recently conducted by them.

May I take it that a recommendation has issued to the Tipperary South Riding County Council of a person for appointment to this position? May I ask the Minister if he is aware as to whether the recommended person has accepted the appointment or is likely to take up the appointment?

This I would not know because I would have to know the mind of the person in question.

The Minister appreciates that it has happened on many occasions that, when the recommendation was made and the appointment made, the appointee did not take up the position. Is that likely to happen again?

I do not know. I hope not.