Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Conditions of Employment of Dispensary Doctors.

4.

andMr. Clohessy asked the Minister for Health the conditions of employment of dispensary doctors, with particular reference to their duties and hours of attendance at dispensaries.

District Medical Officers are part-time officers. Their remuneration has been revised recently and the vast majority now have a salary of £900 a year proceeding to £1,250 a year.

The duties of District Medical Officers are prescribed in detail in the Health (Duties of District Medical Officers) Order, 1954.

The primary duty, as laid down by the Order, is to afford adequate medical care and advice at dispensaries, or elsewhere as may be required, to residents in their districts whose names are on the general medical services register, and to their dependants. They are also required to be responsible for the care in respect of motherhood of any woman in their districts whose name is on the general medical services register, as respects whom no medical practitioner has undertaken to provide such care.

The Order prescribes that District Medical Officers shall attend punctually at dispensaries on the days, and during the hours, directed by the health authority, and at such other times as may be necessary for the proper discharge of their duties. These officers are required to record their times of arrival and departure at the dispensary. I am informed that the dispensary doctors in Limerick City are required to attend at the dispensary for one hour each week-day.