Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (537)

Éamon Ó Cuív


537. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Defence the number of retired medical officers from the Defence Forces who have been offered medical duties as locum tenens with the Defence Forces in the past ten years; the reason that a retired medical officer (details supplied) was not offered any such duties although he offered to do them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10319/13]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

A total of 13 retired military medical officers have been engaged at various stages in the period concerned to provide general practitioner services when required in military installations. There is no obligation on the Department to engage any retired medical officer of the Defence Forces to provide medical duties and I am informed that since 2009, newly retired medical officers were engaged to provide such services only in exceptional circumstances. I should also add that against the background of the difficulty experienced in recruiting doctors to the Defence Forces, it has been necessary to identify alternative options for the provision of medical services to the Defence Forces, including the consideration of the outsourcing of some or all Defence Forces domestic medical services. In this regard, an integrated model for the provision of the required medical services, involving both the Medical Corps and outsourced service provision, is being progressed.