I propose to take Questions Nos. 577 to 579, inclusive, together.
In September 2012, following intensive engagement between health service management and the consultant representative bodies at the Labour Relations Commission, a comprehensive set of measures was agreed. The agreement encompasses a range of flexibilities to enhance productivity and efficiency and to maximise the availability of consultants, as key clinical decision-makers. In particular it provides for:
- Consultant availability for rostering for any five days out of seven as opposed to weekdays;
- Rostering of consultants on a 16/7 (8 a.m. to midnight) or 24/7 basis in services where this is required;
- Clinical Directors having a much strengthened management role in respect of consultants, with reporting relationship for all consultants to the Clinical Director;
- Consultant cooperation with a range of measures to support improved Community and Mental Health services;
- Consultant compliance with the contractual requirements regarding private practice;
- Expeditious processing and signing of claims by consultants for submission to private health insurers.
The HSE is responsible for ensuring that the measures agreed at the LRC are implemented in all hospitals in the public health service. In this regard I have asked the Executive to collate the data requested by the Deputy and to reply to him directly.