Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - General Medical Services.

95.

asked the Minister for Health the proposals he has made to increase the salaries of former district medical officers who opted to remain on salary while working under the general medical services.

In accordance with the provisions of the choice of doctor scheme former district medical officers may choose to continue to accept their annual salaries, appropriately adjusted from time to time, instead of claiming fees for services rendered to eligible patients. Since the commencement of the scheme their salaries have been adjusted with effect from 1st January, 1973, and from 1st July, 1973, and will be due for further revision on 1st June, 1974.

96.

asked the Minister for Health the number of doctors working the general medical services who have earned over £8,000 per annum from the services; and if he will indicate the number of partners, assistants or groups that each doctor has associated with him in earning those moneys and, if possible, relate those numbers to the sums earned.

The number of doctors who earned fees in excess of £8,000 in the first full year of the reorganised general medical service was 110. The services are provided by doctors who have individual agreements with the health boards. Since these agreements are made solely with the participating doctors definitive information about the number of partnerships is not available.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary indicate what particular districts the 110 he mentioned represent?

I understand that is in the scheme in general.

Are they in Dublin city, Cork or where are they?

I think it is nationwide.

How many of those doctors have over 2,000 patients on their lists?

I do not appear to have that information to hand but I am sure if the Deputy wishes I could obtain it.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary not agree it is a very important thing to know the amount of work a doctor is doing, whether or not he has help to do it in view of the fact that he is limited to 2,000 patients under the general medical services?

I was not asked for that in the original question tabled by the Deputy. As I have indicated, if the Deputy wishes, I shall try and obtain the information he now seeks.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary say the total number of doctors taking part in this scheme?

No. I have not got the total number of doctors but, if the Deputy is good at mathematics, the 110 represents 11.4 per cent.