Written Answers. - Junior Hospital Doctor's Working Hours.

Mary Harney

Question:

54 Miss Harney asked the Minister for Health the action, if any, he will take in response to a recent survey of hospitals which revealed that many junior hospital doctors, particularly foreign doctors, work more that the official 65 hours per week; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [925/94]

Charles Flanagan

Question:

108 Mr. Flanagan asked the Minister for Health the degree, if any, to which he has reviewed the position of junior hospital doctors who are currently expected to work extraordinary long hours; the changes, if any, he proposes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1023/94]

Charles Flanagan

Question:

155 Mr. Flanagan asked the Minister for Health whether he has satisfied himself that junior hospital doctors' given their working hours, are in a position to give their patients the high degree of care and attention necessary without risking their own health; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1024/94]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 54, 108 and 155 together.

The Report on the Joint Pilot Study on Unrostered Hours of Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors carried out by a group representative of the Local Government Staff Negotiations Board, the Irish Business Employers Confederation, the Irish Medical Organisation and my Department has only recently been concluded. The joint study was undertaken earlier this year to five pilot hospital sites to seek to establish the nature and extent of the issues which give rise to unrostered hours. The aim of the study was to pave the way for a structured mechanism to be put in place at hospital level to oversee implementation of agreed rosters and to address issues leading to the working of unrostered hours. The report will be examined in my Department as a matter of urgency and its recommendations will be addressed as quickly as possible.