Written Answers. - Hospital Staff.

Pat Rabbitte

Question:

134 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health and Children the steps, if any, he is taking to ensure that the position of chief executive officer of Tallaght Hospital is filled when the incumbent leaves his current position in April 1999; the discussions, if any, he has had with Dr. David McCutcheon prior to, or subsequent to, his announcement that he is to retire; if he has satisfied himself that the financial allocation for Tallaght Hospital for 1999 will be sufficient to allow it to deliver all the planned services at the anticipated level; if he has yet received from management a promised project plan; if it is intended that there should be staff lay-offs; the terms and conditions of the commercial loan which he required the board to take out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1853/99]

Filling of the post of chief executive at Tallaght Hospital is, in the first instance, a matter for the board of management of the hospital. I assume that the board will deal with the matter appropriately. I have had no discussions with Dr. David McCutcheon in relation to his resignation, either prior to or subsequent to the announcement of his resignation.

The hospital was notified of its non-capital determination for 1999 on 23 December 1998 in the sum of £64.690 million. A further £3.916 million was approved in respect of the spending in relation to the Federated Dublin Voluntary Hospitals. The Deputy is aware that almost all of this latter amount refers to staffing at the Tallaght Hospital. The total amount available to the hospital for 1999 is, therefore, c£69 million. Given the hospitals casemix and state of the art facilities, I am satisfied that this amount is sufficient to meet the costs of maintaining at the hospital through 1999 all of the services which have been approved. The hospitals' service plan is due in my Department within the coming weeks, following which officials will meet the hospital management to review the plan.

Without having sight of the hospital service plan, it is not appropriate for me to comment on what it may contain. Of course, I must await receipt of the service plan before I can comment on the specific measures proposed by the board to deal with the issues raised in the Deloitte & Touche report.

Finally, the matter of securing the necessary commercial loan is a matter for the hospital board of management.