I propose to take Questions Nos. 106, 139, 159 and 228 together. It has been my Department's policy since 1988 that all health care staff who have contact with blood should be vaccinated against hepatitis B. These include staff working in accident and emergency; haemotology-oncology; operating theatres.
As regards the recent case of the person infected with hepatitis B, I have asked the appropriate authorities of the hospitals in which this person is alleged to have worked to confirm whether or not he worked in that hospital; to indicate the date the hospital commenced hepatitis B vaccination of health care workers and if this person's hepatitis B status was known. The hospital authorities have also been asked to identify the capacity in which the person worked. If it should emerge that any patients were put at risk they will be contacted for testing and other follow-up procedures.
My Department's chief medical officer has also contacted his colleague in the UK to establish when the person developed hepatitis B.