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Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Vacant Dispensary Medical Posts.

Tuesday, 18 October 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 224 No. 10

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Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange asked the Minister for Health if he will state the number of dispensary medical posts [1406] throughout the State now vacant: whether this figure is above or below average; the number of such vacancies notified to the Local Appointments Commission for filling; and whether there is any change in ministerial policy in relation to the replacement of dispensary doctors where vacancies have occurred.

Mr. S. Flanagan: Information on Seán Flanagan Zoom on Seán Flanagan The number of permanent posts of district medical officer now vacant is 147. The dispensary districts concerned are served by temporary dispensary doctors.

The number of vacancies is above average as, in view of the proposed introduction of a general medical service with choice of doctor, my predecessor requested health authorities in May, 1965, not to proceed with the filling of vacant district medical officer posts on a permanent basis. Only four posts in remote areas along the west coast, where special arrangements for the provision of general medical services would be necessary under the service with choice of doctor, have since been advertised for filling on that basis.

I have not changed this general policy but I have under consideration proposals for the holding, through the Local Appointments Commissioners, of a confined competition to permit the transfer of existing permanent dispensary doctors to certain vacant permanent posts of district medical officer. These transfers would not result in an increase in the number of permanent district medical officers.

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