Written Answers. - Medical Staff.

Tuesday, 22 February 2000

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 514 No. 6

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  212.  Mr. Shatter  Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   the number of full-time specialist physicians working in diabetes care in each health board area; the number of consultant physicians specially trained in diabetes working in this area; and the number of consultant physicians specially trained in diabetes working in this area supervising hospital diabetes clinics and diabetes day care centres. [5203/00]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  Comhairle na nOspidéal is the statutory body with responsibility to regulate the number and type of consultant appointments in hospitals providing services under the Health Act, 1970.

The information provided by comhairle is for consultants specifically working in the area of endrocrinology/diabetes melitus, namely physicians/ endocrinologists or physicians with a special interest in endrocrinology, and paediatricians with a special interest in endrocrinology. However, consultant general physicians throughout the health service are engaged in the care and treatment of patients with diabetes melitus.

[1451] The following information, concerning physicians/endocrinologists or physicians with a special interest in endrocrinology and paediatricians with a special interest in endrocrinology, is extracted from the recently published Comhairle nOspidéal report entitled Consultant Staffing – 1 January 2000.

Health Board Area
ERHA – East Coast Area 3
ERHA – Northern Area 6
ERHA – South Western 4
Mid-Western 1
North Eastern 1
Southern 3
Western 1
Overall total 19

Paediatricians with a special interest in Endrocrinology

Health Board Area
ERHA – South Western 2(Overalltotal)

  213.  Mr. Shatter  Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   the number of diabetes nurse specialists working full-time and part-time in the area of diabetes care in each health board area. [5204/00]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  The category of nurse referred to by the Deputy is not one of the categories included in the Department's annual personnel census. Consequently, the Department does not have records of the number or location of such nurses. It is a matter for each individual health agency as to how nursing staff are deployed.

The Deputy may be interested to note that the Commission on Nursing has recommended the establishment of a three-step clinical career path in nursing and midwifery, as follows: registered nurse/midwife, clinical nurse or midwife specialist, equivalent to ward sister level and advanced nurse or midwife practitioner, equivalent to middle nursing and midwifery management level.

As a necessary prerequisite to the introduction of the clinical career pathway, the Commission on Nursing also recommended that a National Council for Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery be established. This new council was established on 30 November 1999 and it is currently involved in the preparation of guidelines for the recognition of clinical nurse and midwife specialist posts. It is likely that nurses working as specialists in the area of diabetes nursing will be recognised as clinical nurse specialists.

[1452]

  214.  Mr. Shatter  Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   the number of dieticians working full-time and part-time in the area of diabetes in each health board area; the number of these who work solely in the area of juvenile paediatric diabetes; the number paid direct by the relevant health board. [5205/00]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  The staffing returns made by health agencies in the health service personnel census each year only identify numbers within a particular grade. The identification of staffing requirements and the deployment of staff within the overall financial and employment levels set by my Department is a matter for the management of each health agency. Therefore, it is not possible to identify the number of dieticians working in any particular discipline.

Because of the nature of their work, dieticians are involved in an interdisciplinary capacity with many different specialities within the health service. The composition of these teams depends on the particular needs of the service being provided by the agency concerned and the response which the agencies management and professionals consider appropriate, having taken the circumstances presented to them into account.

I can provide the number of dieticians, dietician, senior dietician, principal I dietician and principal II dietician by heath board area, both full-time, wholetime equivalences, excluding career breaks, and part-time employed on 31 December 1998, the latest date for which complete information is available. The health service personnel census as on 31 December 1999 is currently under way.

Health Board Area Fulltime Part-time Total
(w.t.e.'sexcl. CareerBreaks) (w.t.e.'s)
Eastern 58.15 3.90 62.05
Midland 4.60 0.00 4.60
Mid-Western 4.00 0.00 4.00
North Eastern 6.00 0.40 6.40
North Western 8.00 0.00 8.00
South Eastern 5.40 0.54 5.94
Southern 9.45 0.00 9.45
Western 7.00 0.90 7.90
Total 102.6 5.74 108.34


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