233. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a full-time doctor will be appointed to a location following a report (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10647/19]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have been advised by the Irish Prison Service that all persons in custody are provided with a range of healthcare services based on an equivalence of care to that which is provided under the General Medical Scheme in the community.  Those services are based on a primary care model which includes general practitioner services made available to all persons in custody. 
The Irish Prison Service is currently giving consideration to the model of delivery of General Practitioner services at a prison level, including at Castlerea Prison.  Currently, an effective General Practitioner service is provided by engaging a locum doctor who attends the prison five mornings per week, and also provides on-call General Practitioner cover at the weekend.  This service is engaged by way of its contract agreement for the provision of locum General Practitioner services across the prison estate.