Public Hospitals (Amendment) Act, 1940


4.—(1) Where the Hospitals Commission, after consultation with the appropriate advisory committee, complain to the Minister that any person was refused admission as an intern patient to any hospital in relation to which a bureau has been established under this Act or that the treatment of any person admitted as an intern patient to any such hospital was unreasonably delayed, the Minister may, if in his discretion he so thinks proper, cause an inquiry to be held in relation to such complaint and may appoint a person to hold such inquiry.

(2) The person appointed to hold an inquiry under this section may—

(a) summon witnesses to attend at such inquiry,

(b) examine on oath (which he is hereby authorised to administer) witnesses attending at such inquiry, and

(c) where he considers any document in the power or control of any of such witnesses to be necessary for the purposes of such inquiry, require such witness to produce such document.

(3) A witness at an inquiry under this section shall have the same immunities and privileges as if he were a witness before the High Court.

(4) If any person—

(a) being duly summoned to attend as a witness at an inquiry under this section, fails, wilfully or without reasonable cause, to attend, or

(b) being in attendance as a witness at such inquiry, refuses to take an oath, produce a document, or answer a question where required so to do by the holder of such inquiry,

such person shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding five pounds.

(5) The Minister shall certify his expenses in relation to an inquiry under this section and the amount certified shall be paid to the Minister out of the Hospitals Trust Fund and shall be paid into or disposed of by the Minister for the benefit of the Exchequer in such manner as the Minister for Finance directs.