State pays out €741 for every reply to a health query in Dail
HEALTH Minister James Reilly has revealed it costs the State about €741 every time he answers a question tabled in the Dail.
The minister was replying to a written question on the costs put forward by United Left Alliance TD Joan Collins.
Mr Reilly said the figure was uncovered after an analysis co-ordinated by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
"These were indicative estimates based on survey responses from staff in my department," he said.
"They do not include any costs relating to, say, stationery, nor do they include any estimates of costs relating to input to responses from the Health Service Executive," Mr Reilly said.
A department spokeswoman said the indicative costs quoted were based on estimated staff time and did not include phone costs.
The Department of Health receives one of the largest number of parliamentary questions of the government departments.
A significant number are diverted to the Health Service Executive – responsible for the day-to-day running of the service. It has its own parliamentary affairs section and provides written replies.