Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 24 Apr 1968

Vol. 234 No. 2

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Cork Dispensary Vacancy.


asked the Minister for Health the date on which the dispensary medical doctor's area of Glanmire, Glounthaune and Little Island, County Cork was declared vacant by the local authority; the date on which his Department were notified of the vacancy; the steps taken by his Department to fill the vacancy; if he is aware that this is largely a built up district in which it is imperative that a resident dispensary medical officer be available; and when the ratepayers and residents in the district can expect this minimum service to be provided for which they contribute heavily in rates.

I presume that the Deputy's question relates to the Riverstown dispensary district.

My Department was notified on 1 February, 1963, of the death in the previous month of the last holder of the permanent office of district medical officer in Riverstown dispensary district. The question of making a further permanent appointment was deferred as reorganisation of the boundaries of the Dispensary Districts in the area was under examination at the time. Before this examination was completed the general recruitment of permanent district medical officers was suspended in anticipation of the Government proposals to introduce a scheme to provide for a choice of doctor to replace the present dispensary service. A permanent appointment is not considered necessary at this stage as it is considered that the area would be adequately covered under the scheme providing for a choice of doctor. In the meantime the health authority are satisfied that the present temporary arrangements for the performance of the dispensary service are satisfactory. The medical card population of the dispensary district is only 700, out of a total population of 3,635 persons.

Is the Minister aware that people in the district cannot find a doctor when they need him? They are paying enough in health service charges to be entitled to get him. In those circumstances, does the Minister think it right that a dispensary should be without a permanent medical officer from 1963 to 1968?

I am not so aware. There are only 700 people for whom the health authority have responsibility and they are being catered for. According to my information, the health authority is quite satisfied with the service the doctor is providing for those people.

I have raised this matter on at least three occasions with the health authority and I can assure the Minister that, wherever he got his figures, I know that there are 580 people over 21, all voters, in Little Island alone. I have reason to know that.


I suggest that the Minister should get his figures right.

I shall re-examine the matter in the light of what the Deputy says.