Written Answers. - Chiropody Service.

54.

asked the Minister for Health the total cost of running the chiropdy service for the last months for which figures are available; the amounts paid to chiropodists for these services; and the number of chiropodists involved.

The total cost to the health boards of the chiropdy service is estimated at approximately £0.75 million in 1986. This service is provided by the health boards by way of grants to voluntary bodies such as the social service councils who provide a wide range of services.

The service is also provided by chiropodists employed directly by the health boards. It is not possible to give an accurate estimate of the precise amounts spent by voluntary bodies on this one service as many of their accounts do not distinguish this service from others.

Of the £0.75 million it is estimated that with the exception of purchase of minor items of equipment by the health board all the funds are paid in fees or salaries to chiropodists.

It is estimated that approximately 70 chiropodists received payment directly or indirectly from the health boards.