Dáil Éireann - Volume 661 - 24 September, 2008

Written Answers. - Health Services.

Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of complaints registered against an after hours doctor on call service in a county (details supplied) in each of the past three years; the number of complaints outstanding; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30248/08]

Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of people using the KDoc after hours doctor service in Kildare in each of the past two years; the amount invested in this service during that period; the plans she has to extend or alter this service; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30246/08]

  Deputy Mary Harney: I propose to take Questions Nos. 494 and 642 together.

Out of hours co-operatives allow general practitioners to put in place arrangements to provide services to their patients, while their surgeries are closed in the evenings, on weekends and bank holidays. The development of GP co-operatives is in line with the overall health service policy of strengthening primary care services and ensuring that to the greatest extent possible, people’s care needs are met in the primary care setting.

Out of hours co-operatives are now in place in all Health Service Executive (HSE) areas, providing coverage in all or in part of all counties. In 2007, the HSE Vote included almost €37 million in baseline funding for these services and the Executive has advised that this figure is available again in 2008. This figure does not include the fees of the participating doctors.

As the Health Service Executive has the operational and funding responsibility for this service, it is the appropriate body to provide the information sought by the Deputy. My Department has therefore requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to address this matter and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Health and Children the plans she has to continue the First Responders Programme throughout the State; the funding she will allocate to this community scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30249/08]

  Deputy Mary Wallace: The Deputy’s question relates to the funding, management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of [296] the Executive to arrange to have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.