Dáil Éireann - Volume 448 - 26 January, 1995
Written Answers. - Job Sharing Posts.
Mr. O'Malley Mr. O'Malley
41. Mr. O'Malley asked the Minister for Health the number of consultant, NCHD, GMS and nursing positions designated for job sharing in each of the health board areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1683/95]
Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East) Michael Noonan
Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East): Under the terms of the job-sharing scheme for the health service which was introduced in 1985, there are no posts designated to job-sharing. The terms of the scheme, which does not apply to private medical practitioners participating in the general medical services scheme, provide that the operation and maintenance of job-sharing arrangements are a matter for the management of each health agency and must necessarily depend on the demands of the service.
The most recent annual health services personnel census carried out by my Department shows that there were a total of 4,293 employees throughout the health service in a job-sharing capacity at 31 December, 1993.
The increasing success of the scheme in providing both an attractive alternative to full-time working arrangements and greater employment opportunities can be gauged from the fact that this represents an increase of 1,672 since 1990. While nurses represent the largest category of job sharers in the health service, equally the scheme is equally open to staff in other categories who satisfy the criteria set down. Obviously, demand for job-sharing is a necessary pre-condition also.
I am committed to encouraging health agencies to allow the scheme to be used to the fullest extent possible.
 Within the context of overall personnel policy for the health service for 1995, details of which will be circulated to health agencies shortly, it is my intention to emphasise the positive aspects of the job-sharing scheme and to ask each health agency to make every effort to ensure that the opportunities for greater participation in the scheme that exist are fully exploited.
Part-time and job-sharing arrangements in the context of flexible working for consultant and non-consultant hospital doctors were considered and reported on in the discussion document prepared by the collaborative study group on medical manpower in acute hospitals. The implications of the discussion document in this regard are at present being considered by my Department.
Dáil Éireann 448 Written Answers. Job Sharing Posts.