Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Questions (184)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

184. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 40 and 72 of 15 May 2019, the reason the new national children's hospital is obliged to provide private facilities for consultants who hold public and private contracts; his views on whether it is preferable in view of the Sláintecare report and a commitment to moving to a single tier health service, to ensure that the consultants working in the national children's hospital would also commit themselves to providing services on the basis of need; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25703/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The vast majority of services in the new children’s hospital will be public services. However, as part of the National Contract for Consultants negotiated in 2008, some consultants holding specific contracts are entitled to engage in private outpatient practice outside of their public commitment and this commitment must be conducted on site, that is, in the hospital they are contracted with. As a result, private outpatient clinics may be held on the public hospital campus but these clinics must be held outside contracted hours. The new children's hospital is obliged to provide such facilities for consultants holding such contracts. The proposal is for consultants to pay a fee for use of the rooms and other operational costs.

The Report of the Independent Review Group established to examine private activity in public hospitals has been received and is being examined in my Department. It is a comprehensive examination of private activity in public hospitals and contains a small number of recommendations. When the recommendations have been examined and considered in my Department and by other relevant Government Departments, it is intended to bring proposals to Government and to publish the Report thereafter.