Dáil Éireann - Volume 433 - 08 July, 1993
Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Portiuncula Hospital Staffing.
Mr. Connaughton Mr. Connaughton
11. Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Health if he has satisfied himself with the staffing arrangements at the Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, County Galway where one radiologist has to carry out onerous duties on his own; his views on the need for a second radiologist in the hospital; if the standards laid down by his Department are breached in this instance; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Mr. Howlin Mr. Howlin
Mr. Howlin: My Department has proposals from the hospital in question for a second post of consultant radiologist. No funding is available to provide for this post in 1993. Consideration will be given to this post in the context of the funding made available to my Department in 1994 and having regard to other competing service demands.
Mr. Browne (Carlow-Kilkenny) Mr. Browne (Carlow-Kilkenny)
Mr. Browne (Carlow-Kilkenny): In view of the discussion on the last question, is this not a case in point? Here we have a radiologist who is entitled to his holidays but the hospital will have extreme difficulty in getting a locum, even with the best will in the world. Should everything in that hospital almost come to a stop if that radiologist gets sick? If a bird cannot fly on one wing, is it fair to expect any particular post in a hospital to fly on one individual? Can a modern hospital in that position survive without a replacement?
An Ceann Comhairle Seán Treacy
An Ceann Comhairle: Let us stick to Portiuncula.
Mr. Howlin Mr. Howlin
Mr. Howlin: In the case of a particular individual becoming sick, of course he will be replaced by a locum and, when he is on holidays, he will also be replaced by a locum.
In regard to the Deputy's other question as to whether every consultant post should, on the “two wing” theory, be doubled, the financial implications for  the Exchequer of providing two of every post in the country to satisfy the Deputy's request would be unbearable, bearing in mind that we already spend one fifth of every shilling that is voted in this House on hospital services. There are competing demands for new services across the country. I will address each individual application and make the best decision for the benefit of the health and welfare of the people.
Dáil Éireann 433 Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. Portiuncula Hospital Staffing.