I can assure the Deputy that the vast majority of services in the new children’s hospital and the new maternity hospital will be public services. However, as part of the National Consultants' Contract, negotiated in 2008, some consultants holding specific contracts are entitled to engage in private outpatient practice outside of their public commitment; this commitment must be conducted on site, in the hospital where the consultant holds his/her contract. As a result, private outpatient clinics may be undertaken on a public hospital campus, however, these clinics must be held outside contracted hours. The new hospitals will be obliged to provide such facilities for consultants holding such contracts, but it is proposed that the consultants will be required to pay a fee for the use of the rooms and other operational costs.
The Report of the Independent Review Group established to examine private activity in public hospitals (the De Buitléir Report) has been received and is being examined in the Department. It is a comprehensive examination of private activity in public hospitals and contains a small number of recommendations.
Detailed consideration of the Report by Department officials is ongoing and covers a range of issues, which have also been discussed in engagement with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of the Taoiseach. It is intended that the De Buitléir Report will be published when this consideration is complete.