HC Deb 13 August 1913 vol 56 cc2522-3W

asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that several dispensary medical officers in Ireland act as coroners, and that the districts of such coroners are in every case much more extensive than those dispensary districts, in some cases comprising an entire county, and that the duty of a coroner frequently necessitates prolonged absence from home; if so, whether it is the policy of the Local Government Board for Ireland to insist on dispensary medical officers refraining from acting as medical advisers under the National Insurance Act, in view of the fact that their duties as such medical advisers would never entail prolonged absence from their dispensary districts; and, if so, will he now state what objection the Local Government Board have to allowing dispensary doctors acting as medical advisers to be absent from their dispensary districts under conditions similar to those which obtain in the case of dispensary medical officers acting as coroners?


I am aware that several dispensary doctors in Ireland also act as coroners, but in each case in which such a dual appointment is proposed the Local Government Board before agreeing to the proposal carefully consider the extent of the duties to be performed and the amount of travelling entailed, so as to make sure that their policy of securing prompt medical attendance for the sick poor is not interfered with. In pursuance of the same policy the Board are inquiring as to the arrangements made for attendance on urgent cases during the temporary absence of the dispensary doctors in unions where such doctors have accepted appointments as advisers under the National Insurance Act.