Dáil Éireann - Volume 542 - 24 October, 2001

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

216. Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of additional long-term care beds that have been provided in each health board area for the years 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001; the projected number for 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25539/01]

217. Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of contract beds hired by each health board area for each of the years 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001; the projected number for 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25540/01]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): I propose to take Questions Nos. 216 and 217 together.

The information sought by the Deputy is not readily available in my Department. I have asked the chief executive officer of the health boards and the Eastern Regional Health Authority to supply the relevant information to me as a matter of urgency. When the information is available, I will arrange to have it forwarded to the Deputy.

218. Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of geriatricians employed in each of the acute hospitals; the number of vacancies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25542/01]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): This information is not readily available in my Department. I have asked Comhairle na nOspidéal to reply directly to the Deputy with the information requested.

As the Deputy will be aware the Government approved the establishment of a National Task Force on Medical Manpower, which will, inter alia, be responsible for preparing and overseeing the implementation of detailed strategies for addressing the medical staffing needs of the Irish hospital system and the associated medical training requirements. Geriatric medicine will be one of the specialities addressed by this task force. It is envisaged that the task force will be established shortly.

219. Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of step down beds available to each of the acute hospitals; the projected number by the end of 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25543/01]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): The information sought by the Deputy is not readily available to my Department. I have asked [1696] the health boards and the Eastern Regional Health Authority to provide me with that information, which I will arrange to have forwarded to the Deputy as a matter of urgency.