Written Answers. - Departmental Advertising.

Noel Ahern

Question:

591 Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Health and Children the amount of the annual health budget of £4.38 billion which is spent on newspaper advertisement for staff vacancies in the area funded by his Department; if his Department's approval is required for such expenditure; the cost of one page of newspaper advertisements; if a more focused way of bringing vacancies to the attention of suitable potential staff cannot be found; if the specifics and detail of job specifications, which is often shown, is required to be specified by his Department; if he will make a statement on the matter of the expenditure and transfer of taxpayers' funds to the newspaper groups; and the plans he has for achieving better value for money in this regard. [20031/00]

Arrangements for advertising posts in the health sector is a matter for each individual employing agency. My Department's approval is not required for expenditure relating to such advertisements; the costs involved are met from within each agency's allocation. I am having the entire advertising arrangements examined and I have asked the Office for Health Management to carry out an examination and come up with more innovative ways of recruiting for the health services.