Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Medical Officers' Time-Off.

2.

asked the Minister for Health what steps are being taken to ensure circumstances in all areas to permit the operation of the new time-off arrangements for district medical officers and allied doctors.

I have given general approval to health authorities to make arrangements for the affording of time-off to part-time medical officers on the basis agreed recently between representatives of these authorities and of the doctors concerned. I do not see that any further action of mine is called for.

What will be the position where it is physically impossible for a doctor to have time-off because of no doctors being available? What compensation would be available to him in lieu of time-off?

That is a matter for negotiations but I imagine that one of the possible solutions, but one which might not work in every area, would be that time off would be cumulative and might be allowed to accumulate over a period of three months by which time it would be more easy to provide an assistant.

Would that apply to island doctors?

I imagine it would.