Written Answers. - Hospital Doctors.

Tuesday, 6 November 2001

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 543 No. 2

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  460.  Mr. Hogan  Information on Philip Hogan  Zoom on Philip Hogan   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   if he will investigate the circumstances whereby a person (details supplied) was able to successfully apply for employment with the South-Eastern Health Board; his views on the need for changes in recruitment practice to ensure that all information is available to health authorities prior to appointments to the health services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26968/01]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  The South-Eastern Health Board has informed me that it employed the named doctor in a locum capacity from 17 April 2000 until 5 November 2000. He was employed at St. Luke's Psychiatric Hospital, Clonmel, until 31 July and from 14 August at St. Canice's Psychiatric Hospital, Kilkenny.

I have been advised by the South-Eastern Health Board that the temporary appointment was made following the board's advertisement of the post and in accordance with the board's recruitment procedures. These procedures include an interview process, obtaining written references and confirming the registration status of any doctor who is employed by the SouthEastern Health Board whether in a full-time or temporary capacity. During the period of his employment with the South-Eastern Health Board, the doctor in question was registered with the Medical Council and a copy of his registration was forwarded to the South-Eastern Health Board by the Medical Council on 13 April 2000, prior to his taking up duty with the South-Eastern Health Board on the 17 April, 2000.

This doctor's name had effect in the Irish medical register until 29 January 2001, when it was removed following a High Court Order obtained by the Medical Council. However the doctor's name was restored to the medical register by Order of the High Court on 10 August 2001.

The South-Eastern Health Board has further informed me that it was not aware of any allegations against this doctor prior to his employment, nor did it receive any complaints regarding him during his employment with the board.

[595] I understand, however, that the South-Eastern Health Board has established a help line. Since the establishment of the health line there have been four inquiries – two of which appear to be in the nature of complaints and these are being investigated as a matter of urgency by the South-Eastern Health Board.

I have asked officials of my Department to examine the circumstances surrounding this matter with the relevant parties in order to determine how best to strengthen existing recruitment procedures.


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