Dáil Éireann - Volume 603 - 14 June, 2005
Written Answers. - Hanly Report.
Mr. Lowry Mr. Lowry
242. Mr. Lowry asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children if it remains the policy of her Department to implement in full the Hanly report; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19518/05]
Mr. Lowry Mr. Lowry
243. Mr. Lowry asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the policy implications of the Hanly report (details supplied); the services that will be relocated out of the hospital;  if the report is implemented; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19519/05]
Ms Harney Ms Harney
Ms Harney:I propose to take Questions Nos. 242 and 243 together.
The report of the National Task Force on Medical Staffing — Hanly report — makes important proposals for reducing the working hours of non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHDs) in line with the European Working Time Directive and highlights the need to implement changes in medical staffing to ensure safety and quality of patient care.
My Department is working closely with the Health Services Executive and other health agencies with a view to reducing the working hours of junior doctors. Negotiations with the Irish Medical Organisation in this regard are continuing. Local implementation groups have been established in nine hospitals as part of an agreed process and a detailed hospital activity analysis is underway which will inform reforms in this area.
The report recommends a significant increase in the total number of consultants, working in a ‘consultant-provided’, team-based system, so that patients can receive faster access to senior clinical decision making. While consultant contract negotiations are delayed pending resolution of issues related to medical indemnity arrangements, significant preparatory work has been undertaken within my Department in partnership with the Health Service Executive in preparation for the commencement of negotiations.
The implications of the report for post-graduate medical education and training are being examined by the medical education and training group originally established as part of the National Task Force on Medical Staffing.
In relation to the organisation of hospital services, I consider that the National Hospitals Office is best placed to build on the recommendations of the report in this area and have asked my officials to progress the issue with officials of the National Hospitals Office.
In relation to the specific hospital mentioned by the Deputy, the report stated that a full range of acute hospital services should be available within the mid-western region, so that patients would not have to travel outside the region other than for specialised supra-regional or national-level services. This would involve the appointment of an additional 195 consultants to the mid-western region. These consultants would be required to work both in hospitals such as Nenagh and Ennis as well as the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick.
Dáil Éireann 603 Written Answers. Hanly Report.