Dáil Éireann - Volume 516 - 23 March, 2000
Written Answers. - Hospital Doctors.
Mr. Flanagan Mr. Flanagan
214. Mr. Flanagan asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to a shortage of consultants in the Midland  Health Board with particular reference to cardiology, dermatology, infectious diseases speciality, radiotherapy and ophthalmic surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8642/00]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): According to Comhairle na nOspidéal's January 2000 report, the Midland Health Board has a consultant establishment of 59 posts. An additional five consultant posts have been approved by Comhairle na nOspidéal for the board since the beginning of 1998. Further consultant appointments are planned this year in haematology and oncology.
The approval of additional consultant posts for the board has been facilitated by my Department's policy of achieving self sufficiency in the provision of regional specialities at health board level. This policy has informed the approach being taken in the implementation of the national cancer strategy, the planned implementation of the national cardiovascular strategy and the development of renal services, for example. In addition, the major capital developments being planned for Tullamore General Hospital and Portlaoise General Hospital will, as the Deputy will appreciate, involve the further development of services in the commissioning phases.
My Department will continue to work with the management of the Midland Health Board in identifying service development priorities as part of the annual Estimates cycle and having regard to overall resources available.
Dáil Éireann 516 Written Answers. Hospital Doctors.