§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Kilkenny)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that union general hospitals and union fever hospitals in Ireland are inspected and reported upon by lay inspectors, and can he state what qualifications these gentlemen possess for the discharge of this duty; is he aware that the Irish Workhouse Reform Association and the Irish Medical Association strongly recommended that those hospitals should be inspected by professional men; and will he see that effect is given to those recommendations.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. G. W. BALFOUR,) Leeds,
The inspection of workhouses in Ireland, as in England, is under the general inspectors, who report on the state of the buildings, the cleanliness, order, discipline, the keeping of the books, the finance, and the compliance with the general regulations by the several officers in every department, including the hospital wards. It would not be practicable to exclude these wards from the general inspectors' authority, but when any questions as to medical treat- merit arise, or where any inquiry has to be held wherein medical knowledge is required, a medical inspector makes a special inspection or holds any inquiry on oath that may be necessary. The question of assigning this work to a special medical inspector appointed for the purpose is under consideration.