The Department of Health has said a formal response has been issued to a request for more information on primary care centres from Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.

But the response for more information about the criteria for choosing the centres only lists the 35 locations, and does not deal with the criteria at all.

Earlier, Sinn Féin accused Health Minister James Reilly of treating the Opposition with contempt, after he sent a press release from July in response to the original request.

After Mr Ó Caoláin complained that Mr Reilly had not properly answered a Dáil question, the Ceann Comhairle agreed, saying the minister failed to answer part of the question.

The Ceann Comhairle wrote to the minister advising him of his opinion, and said any response would be communicated to Mr Ó Caoláin and included in the official Dáil record.

A department spokesperson said there was a "misunderstanding" over an earlier response, which contained a previously issued press release.

He said that had only been sent as a courtesy.

The Houses of the Oireachtas confirmed that a formal response to the request was delivered to the Ceann Comhairle this morning.

However, Sinn Féin said it had not yet received any further response.

The question related to the criteria used to identify the 35 priority primary care centres announced as part of the stimulus package last July.

Mr Reilly had initially sent a three-sentence reply, attaching a press release from July, and added: "I trust this clarifies the position to you."

Mr Ó Caoláin said the response "oozes contempt" and said he would be raising the matter with the Ceann Comhairle.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said he had not seen the formal reply, so he could not comment on it.