Dáil Éireann - Volume 305 - 06 April, 1978

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Hospital Care.

[250] 48. Dr. O'Connell asked the Minister for Health the number of complaints his Department have received regarding hospital care in the last three years; and if he will consider setting up appropriate machinery for dealing with such complaints.

Mr. Haughey: My Department have received 183 complaints regarding general and mental hospital care in the last three years.

Complaints regarding general hospital care are investigated by the appropriate health board and in the case of complaints relating to mental hospitals these are investigated by the appropriate health board or by the inspector of mental hospitals, depending on the nature of the complaint. Reports on the complaints are furnished to me following the investigations.

These arrangements are generally satisfactory and I do not consider that alternative procedures are necessary.

Mr. Keating: I take the opportunity to express the hope that the Minister, who has been in hospital, will be restored to good health.

Mr. Boland: What is all that about?

Mr. Haughey: We are being civilised.

Mr. Boland: I was beginning to get afraid.

Dr. O'Connell: I wish to ask one supplementary. How long does it take to investigate these complaints? I brought one to the Minister's notice in early February——

Mr. Haughey: That would mean it is under investigation and sometimes an investigation takes a long time.

Dr. O'Connell: The place is still closed down.

Mr. Haughey: I will look into it. The Deputy will see better service than that.

An Ceann Comhairle: The remaining questions will appear on the Order Paper for the next sitting day.