Dáil Éireann - Volume 477 - 08 April, 1997
Written Answers - General Practitioner Services.
Mr. E. O'Keeffe Mr. E. O'Keeffe
69. Mr. E. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health if he will have investigations made into the reason there is no surgery available on any Thursday in a village (details supplied) in County Cork under the general medical services scheme; and if he will have arrangements made to ensure that a surgery under this scheme is put in place in the village for the day in question. [8725/97]
Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East) Michael Noonan
Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East): The arrangements for the provision of general practitioner services to medical card holders, under the general medical services (GMS) scheme, are a matter for the chief executive officer of the relevant health board.
I have had inquiries made of the Southern Health Board in the case mentioned by the Deputy and I understand that there was a resident general practitioner, in the village in question, who retired from the GMS scheme in 1995. At the time of his retirement, the board was in favour of allocating the small list of medical card patients among the 19 general practitioners who practised within a ten mile radius of the village. However, in response to requests from the local  community, the board agreed to provide a surgery service in the village on a daily basis and to monitor the position. In early 1996, the board carried out a survey of patients attending the surgery and the response was that the service was satisfactory. Over the past year, the number of patients attending the surgery was small, with as few as one or two patients attending on some days and in the circumstances, the doctor providing the service felt that four surgeries per week would be adequate. The Thursday surgery was cancelled and the other four were extended.
The doctor concerned has her main surgery some three miles from the village in question and is available there and for house calls on Thursday. I understand that no complaints have been received by the board from patients about the level of service in the village and the board is satisfied that the service being provided is adequate for the needs of the area and utilises the doctor's time in an efficient and effective manner.
Dáil Éireann 477 Written Answers General Practitioner Services.