Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Ceisteanna (60)

James Browne

Ceist:

60. Deputy James Browne asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if a psychiatrist has been appointed to the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5889/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

A psychiatrist has not yet been appointed to the Defence Forces. A direct entrant competition for the position of military psychiatrist that closed on 30th September 2018 yielded no applications. Efforts to secure a locum psychiatrist have also been unsuccessful to date. In an effort to address this I have recently given approval for my Department to conduct a competition for a contracted civilian consultant psychiatrist at pay rates equivalent to those available in the HSE. However it should be noted that there is a nationwide shortage of trained psychiatrists with recruitment issues in a number of sectors of the health service. The difficulty with recruitment for such a position is not unique to the Defence Forces.