569. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of vacancies in the medical corps of the Defence Forces; the length of time each post has been vacant; the steps he will take to fill each post; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18397/16 asked on 28 Jun 2016)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): The information sought by the Deputy is currently being compiled by the military authorities and I will forward same when received. Having regard to the recent vacancies, it has been necessary to identify alternative options for the provision of medical services to the Defence Forces. In this connection, a joint civilian/military Standing Committee has been set up with a view to advancing the development of a sustainable integrated medical service and to address appropriate means of delivery of key medical capabilities for the Defence Forces. An integrated model for the provision of the required medical services, involving both the Medical Corps and outsourced service provision is currently being progressed.