Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dublin Hospital X-Ray Service.

10.

andMr. T.J. Fitzpatrick (Dublin Central) asked the Minister for Health if there are any proposals in the interests of patients to reduce the long waiting period for X-rays carried out in the Meath Hospital, Dublin each day.

I understand that, with the exception of barium meal and enema X-ray examinations, the waiting period generally is not significant. In connection with these examinations which are time-consuming, the waiting period is due to the fact that the demand has greatly increased over the past 12 months. However, adequate facilities for such examinations are available in other Dublin hospitals.

I am sure the Minister will agree that it is far from satisfactory that people should have to wait for as long as two months for a barium meal X-ray. This is the case not only in the Meath Hospital but in other hospitals as well. Apart altogether from a shortage of accommodation and suitable X-ray equipment, is not this in quite large measure due to the fact that there is a great shortage of radiologists? Would the Minister look into this and see what is being done to make good this shortage?

These questions are always under review.

This is a very serious one.