Dáil Éireann - Volume 627 - 14 November, 2006

Written Answers. - Health Service Staff.

Dr. Twomey asked the Minister for Health and Children if the practice of members of the board of the Health Service Executive attending meetings by phone as referred to in minutes of board meetings is in compliance with Section 5 of Schedule 2 of the Health Act 2004 and does being on the phone constitute attendance in accordance with Sections 5 (1), (3), (4) and (6) of the above Act; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37818/06]

  Ms Harney: Section 5 of Schedule 2 of the Health Act 2004 deals with quorum and procedures for the Health Service Executive (HSE) Board. The Act does not define what constitutes attendance for the purpose of this section. I understand from the HSE that members of the Board attend in person for the scheduled monthly meetings. I am further advised that the use of teleconference facilities has occurred only for special meetings of the Board which, by their nature, tend to be called at short notice.

It is reasonable that the benefits of information and communication technology would be embraced by the HSE to ensure that a maximum number of members are afforded the opportunity to participate, in situations where special meetings are required at short notice.