Dáil Éireann - Volume 167 - 30 April, 1958
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Statements of Chief Medical Adviser.
Dr. Browne Dr. Browne
 Dr. Browne asked the Minister for Health whether he is aware that the recent statement in reference to the health services, attributed to Dr. Deeny, Chief Medical Adviser to his Department, that there was a kindness and a humanity among voluntary organisations that Government organisations and local authorities cannot provide, is denigratory of the Civil Service generally and, in particular, of local authority health service nursing personnel; and if he will state whether, as a civil servant, Dr. Deeny had his authority to make this statement; and whether the statement represents his views on the matter.
Dr. Browne Dr. Browne
Dr. Browne asked the Minister for Health whether he is aware that the recent statement, attributed to Dr. Deeny, Chief Medical Adviser to his Department, that in this country we have had a standard set for us by the Jubilee Nurses and that we want to perpetuate this standard and do not want Civil Service nurses, is denigratory of the Civil Service generally and, in particular, of local authority health service nursing personnel; and if he will state whether, as a civil servant, Dr. Deeny had his authority to make this statement; and whether the statement represents his views on the matter.
Mr. MacEntee Mr. MacEntee
Mr. MacEntee: With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 7 and 8 together.
I am aware of the published references to the address recently given by my Department's chief medical adviser at the annual general meeting of St. Patrick's Nurses Home, which he addressed with my prior approval.
I understand that the chief medical adviser did not speak from a detailed script, but he has informed me that, by way of explanation of the official policy of encouraging and supporting the voluntary nursing services side by side with the expansion of the health authority nursing services, he instanced some of the good features of both types of service. One of the necessarily condensed Press reports mentioned the merit indicated in the voluntary service without mentioning  also the stated merits of the local authority service.
The reference to Civil Service nurses is presumably based on advice which he tendered to nurses who were present at the meeting that they should continue to work according to the tradition of the service to which they belonged and that they should regard themselves as finished their day's work only when they had dealt with the last patient for whom they were responsible and not at a fixed time each evening. In instancing a group which, by popular repute, finishes its work at a fixed time each evening, he jocularly referred to the Civil Service of which he is himself a member. There are, of course, no Civil Service nurses and there is no question of appointing any.
The chief medical adviser assures me that at no stage did he say anything which could be genuinely taken as derogatory of the Civil Service or of local authority health services nursing personnel.
Dáil Éireann 167 Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. Statements of Chief Medical Adviser.