Written Answers. - Prescribing Practices.

Gay Mitchell

Question:

302 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children if the relevant health board, his Department and the Medical Council have comprehensively examined a press report (details supplied) on the prescribing of morphine, as raised in Parliamentary Question No. 228 of 27 February 2001. [7390/01]

My Department has examined the article concerned and has been in touch with the relevant health board about the matters raised. I understand that the health board took the necessary steps to investigate the prescribing practices of the practitioners concerned and that, following a review of their prescribing patterns, there has been a significant reduction in the amounts of drugs being prescribed. I further understand that the health board will continue to monitor the situation.

Since the Medical Council is a statutory independent body, I am not in a position to say what the council's position is on the newspaper article referred to by the Deputy.