Written Answers. - Ballinasloe (Galway) Hospital Posts.

23.

asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Western Health Board created 35 permanent posts at St. Brigid's Hospital, Ballinasloe, County Galway despite the fact that only 23 were advertised; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The competition to fill supervisory posts at St. Bridget's Hospital, Ballinasloe, formed part of an overall national agreement reached with the unions, regarding the permanent filling of a number of supervisory posts which had been filled in an acting capacity in psychiatric hospitals. A formula had been agreed with the unions under which the number of posts to be filled in any hospital would be determined.

Because of the nature of the competition, it was not possible to give the precise number of posts to be filled in any hospital in advance of the actual holding of the competition as consequential vacancies arising as a direct result of the competition were to be filled from the panel also. The unions involved clearly understood this to be the position and actively compaigned to have as many vacancies as possible filled from this competition.

The filling of these posts did not result in the creation of any excess posts over the number of supervisory posts approved for this hospital. It must be stressed that irrespective of the number of posts to be filled, all nurses with the requisite experience were free to compete in the "once off" competition to fill supervisory posts within their own hospitals and in such circumstances they all had an equal chance to benefit from the additional posts which were filled.