Written Answers - General Practitioner Co-operatives.

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 628 No. 6

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  245.  Mr. Ring  Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   the number of vehicles currently being used by a service in the west (details supplied) giving details on a county basis; the number of vehicles purchased new in the past 12 months for this service; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41093/06]

  246.  Mr. Ring  Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   the number of staff recruited in the past twelve months, giving details for each county in relation to a service (details supplied) in the west; and the number of staff currently employed in this service by category on a county basis. [41094/06]

Minister for Health and Children (Ms Harney): Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  I propose to take Questions Nos. 245 and 246 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. Between 2000 and 2005 approximately €105 million was allocated to the HSE for out of hours GP co-operatives and in 2006 almost €34 million is available to the Executive for these services.

As the Health Service Executive has the operational and funding responsibility for this service, it is the appropriate body to consider the particular issues in the questions raised by the Deputy . My Department has requested the Parliamen[2066]tary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.


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