Written Answers. - Consultant Appointments.

Bernard Allen

Question:

497 Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children the steps he will take to speed up consultant appointments in view of the fact some appointments can take up to two years. [19226/00]

A working group comprising representatives of my Department, Comhairle na nOspidéal and the health boards, has made recommendations to reduce the length of time it takes to fill consultant vacancies. These recommendations are made under a number of headings including: advance planning for replacement posts; improvements in the service/planning process; common application form; notifying the Local Appointments Commission of posts to be sought; review of recruitment systems; composition of interview boards; timeframe for accepting or rejecting the offer and for taking up duty.

The recommendations contained in the report will be adopted.