Dáil Éireann - Volume 480 - 30 September, 1997
Written Answers - Consultant Appointments.
Mr. Boylan Mr. Boylan
259. Mr. Boylan asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to the rate of consultant resignations at Cavan General Hospital; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that much of the medical service is currently being led by temporary locum consultant staff; his views on whether there are morale implications for the consultant staff and nursing staff alike and the direct implication this has for the leading and development of services for the region of Cavan and Monaghan and its surrounds; his views on whether the confidence of the area's general medical practitioners and public is damaged with such a major locum input into the service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14366/97]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen) Brian Cowen
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen): In November 1993 the North-Eastern Health Board adopted a new policy regarding the future direction of services in the acute hospitals in the region. As a result, 16 new and replacement consultants posts have been approved for the Cavan/Monaghan hospital since July 1994. In addition, 58 new support posts have been approved across the range of services. Over £ 1 million has been invested in equipment and a similar amount in capital improvements and maintenance.
There are now 25 consultant posts in the Cavan/Monaghan Hospital. The departure of a small number of consultants over the past couple of years arose for a variety of reasons, including consultants returning to their native areas and moving to larger teaching hospitals.
I understand from the North-Eastern Health Board that the level of developments in their area and particularly the Cavan/Monaghan region is unparalleled nationally. The result is that public confidence in the region is very high, as is evident by the number of patients availing of the services. The North-Eastern Health Board has indicated that where permanent posts fall vacant, it employs consultants on a temporary basis. This ensures a continuity of service in the hospital.
Dáil Éireann 480 Written Answers Consultant Appointments.