Written Answers. - Ophthalmology Services.

Bernard Allen

Ceist:

159 Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health if he will make a statement on the recent report in the Irish Medical Times dated 24 April that patients may go blind and ophthalmology cover at a Dublin hospital will have to be scaled down dramatically unless his Department speed up the process of replacing a consultant post.

The regional eye unit at the Mater Hospital is staffed by five consultant ophthalmologists. One of the consultants retired earlier this year. So as not to disrupt ophthalmology services, the post was filled on a locum basis and the workload of the retired consultant continues to be carried out. The question of filling the post on a permanent basis will be considered as part of the ongoing discussions with the hospital on their service plan for 1992 and the resources available to my Department.