Public Hospitals Bill, 1933—From the Seanad.
The Dáil went into Committee to consider Seanad amendments to the Public Hospitals Bill.
It is proposed to accept amendments 1, 5 and 7, and to ask the Dáil to disagree with amendments Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 6. These amendments relate to the question of financing a pension scheme for nurses. Subsequent to the decision in the Seanad on these amendments the matter was further discussed and it was realised that the question of a pension scheme for nurses was more complicated than at first thought. It was then agreed not to proceed with the further necessary amendments on the understanding that if the nursing organisation and the committee of the associated hospitals succeeded in evolving a finished scheme the necessary legislation would be introduced to assist in financing such a scheme.
Are we to understand from the Parliamentary Secretary that he agrees with the principle of awarding pensions to nurses?
I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 1:—
New section. Before Section 18 a new section inserted as follows:—
18. Nothing contained in the last preceding section shall empower the Hospitals' Commission to make and submit to the Minister a scheme which shall involve an alteration of the constitution or an interference with the administration of a hospital which did not receive any benefit from any sweepstake promoted under the Public Charitable Hospitals Acts, 1930 to 1932 and does not receive any benefit from a sweepstake promoted under this Act and which does not receive any grant from a local authority.
Question put and agreed to.
The Committee disagreed with the following amendments:—
2. Section 23, sub-section (1). After the words "Saorstát Eireann" in line 21 the following words inserted:—"or any organisation established in Saorstát Eireann for the provision of a pension fund for aged or infirm nurses."
3. Section 23, sub-section (2). A new sub-section inserted before the sub-section as follows:—
(2) For the purposes of this section, but not further or otherwise, the word "nurse" shall mean a nurse registered by the General Nursing Council or a midwife certified by the Central Midwives Board, who shall have been engaged for not less than 20 years in nursing or in attendance on maternity patients in Saorstát Eireann.
4. Section 24, sub-section (2). After the word "organisation" in line 49 the following words inserted:—"or such organisation for the provision of pensions for nurses as is defined in sub-section (1) of the preceding section."
6. Section 24, sub-section (7). Before paragraph (f) a new paragraph inserted as follows:—
(f) the endowment of any organisation established in Saorstát Eireann for the provision of a pension fund for aged or infirm nurses or midwives.
The Committee agreed with the following amendments:—
5. Section 24, sub-section (5). The following words added at the end of the sub-section:—"Provided, however, that no conditions shall be attached to the receipt of any such grant in any way relating to the appointment, dismissal or control of the staff of any hospital or nursing organisation."
7. New section. Before Section 25 a new section inserted as follows:—
25.—(1) The Minister may at any time, at the request of any person controlling or about to establish a lending library for supplying books for the use of patients or inmates in hospitals, make a grant (to be known and in this section referred to as a hospital library grant) to such person out of the Hospitals Trust Fund, of such amount as the Minister shall think proper, for the purpose of defraying all or any of the expenses of such lending library.
(2) A hospital library grant may, as the Minister shall in each case think proper, be in the form of a sum to be paid out of the capital of the Hospitals Trust Fund or in the form of payments to be made annually, for such period as the Minister shall direct, out of the income of the Hospitals Trust Fund and the National Hospital Trustees shall, if so directed by the Minister, set aside a portion of the capital of the Hospitals Trust Fund and invest such portion for the purpose of securing any hospital library grant made in the form of payments to be made annually.
(3) Whenever the Minister determines to make under this section a hospital library grant, he shall direct the National Hospital Trustees to pay such grant out of the Hospitals Trust Fund and thereupon the said Trustees shall pay the amount of such grant out of the said Fund to such person and at such time or in instalments at such times as the Minister directs.
(4) Whenever the Minister makes under this section a hospital library grant, he shall specify the purposes for which such hospital library grant is to be expended and may attach to the receipt of such hospital library grant such conditions (whether to be performed before or after such receipt) as he thinks proper for securing the due expenditure of such hospital library grant on the purposes specified by the Minister.
(5) If, after the making of a hospital library grant under this section to any person and before payment of such hospital library grant or before the making of any particular payment in respect thereof, the Minister is satisfied that any condition attached under the foregoing sub-section to the receipt of such hospital library grant has not been complied with by the person to whom such grant was made, the Minister may certify to the National Hospital Trustees that such condition has not been complied with and, upon the Minister so certifying, the National Hospital Trustees shall not make, and the person to whom such grant was made shall cease to be entitled to, any such payment of or in respect of such hospital library grant or to any future payment in respect thereof unless and until the Minister otherwise directs.
Report of Committee agreed to.