Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - General Practitioners' Courses.

9.

asked the Minister for Health what facilities have been made available for the provision of post-graduate teaching in health authority hospitals for general practitioners; when such courses will commence; what arrangements will be made to permit practitioners to attend; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

There is no organised formal post-graduate teaching programme for general practitioners conducted in Health Board hospitals. From time to time, various bodies such as the Royal College of General Practitioners, Irish Medical Association,et cetera, seek, and are given, facilities in Health Board hospitals for the holding of post-graduate lectures or seminars. If approached, I readily authorise proposals for the grant of leave facilities to enable medical officers employed by Health Boards to attend. In addition, lectures by visiting consultants are organised occasionally by Health Boards and while these are mainly directed towards junior hospital staff, local medical practitioners are usually invited to attend. The whole question of post-graduate training for general practitioners will be examined by the newly constituted Consultative Council on General Medical Practice. I have asked the Council to consider specially what arrangements will be necessary to ensure that general practitioners are given opportunities to keep themselves wellinformed on new developments in medicine. As soon as the Council are in a position to let me have their views, I will take appropriate steps to bring about a more organised approach to this important subject.