Written answers

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Department of Justice and Equality

State Pathology Service

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

388. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the date on which the post of State Pathologist will be filled on a permanent full-time basis. [3189/20]

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The positions of Chief State Pathologist and Deputy State Pathologist were advertised by the Public Appointments Service in September 2019.   The recruitment process for the Deputy State Pathologist is still ongoing and it is anticipated that the post will be filled in the coming months. 

Unfortunately the recruitment process for the Chief State Pathologist failed to identify a suitable candidate.   However we are fortunate to have in place the Acting State Pathologist, Dr. Linda Mulligan, who is leading the office in the interim until a more permanent solution can be identified. 

As the Deputy may be aware, my Department commissioned a report from the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland which was published last year and found that a shortage of suitably qualified pathologists is a concern worldwide.  The report identified a range of issues, including that the remuneration levels were not attractive compared to those available to pathologists working in hospital settings in Ireland or with pathologists in other countries.  It also identified the importance of a national training scheme for ensuring self-sufficiency in forensic pathology.  My Department accepted those recommendations and immediately engaged with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform which sanctioned an increased remuneration package for the most recent competition.  My officials are also engaging with the Medical Council with a view to recognising pathology as a specialism and the other recommendations in the report will also be progressed in consultation with other key stakeholders. 

In the meantime, my Department is keeping the situation under review and I am grateful to Dr Mulligan for her dedicated service in these circumstances. 


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.