I move amendment No. 1:
In page 8, to delete subsection (1) and substitute the following:—
"(1) The Council shall consist of 19 members appointed in the following manner, that is to say—
(a) one person appointed by each of the following bodies—
(i) University College Cork,
(ii) the University of Dublin;
(b) one person appointed by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland;
(c) five fully registered dentists resident in the State appointed by election by fully registered dentists;
(d) two persons appointed by the Medical Council;
(e) one person appointed by the Minister for Education;
(f) four representatives of auxiliary dental workers nominated by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, two of whom shall be dental technicians, and two dental nurses;
(g) four persons appointed by the Minister, at least two of whom—
(i) shall not be registered dentists, and
(ii) shall, in the opinion of the Minister, after consultation with the Minister for Industry, Trade, Commerce and Tourism, represent the interests of the general public as consumers of dental services.".
This section deals with the membership of the council and provides that the council shall consist of 19 members. Paragraph (a) refers to two persons appointed by each of the following bodies: University College Cork and the University of Dublin. Our amendment proposes that one person should be appointed by each of those bodies. Paragraph (c) provides for seven fully registered dentists resident in the State appointed by election by fully registered dentists. We propose that that should be altered to five fully registered dentists resident in the State. We suggest that those four appointments should be filled by four representatives of auxiliary dental workers nominated by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, two of whom shall be dental technicians, and two dental nurses.
Dental technicians and dental nurses should be represented on the council because their jobs, their livelihood, their method of work and their wages will be decided on by this council. Further on in the Bill there is a section setting up a committee to deal with dental technicians and dental nurses. There are many more of them than there are dentists. We propose that they should have representation on the council. They will not be able to nominate the council. The Minister will be appointing four persons at least two of whom shall not be registered dentists. The other 17 could be registered dentists and dentists will have a majority on the council.
There is no question of two representatives of the dental technicians and two representatives of the dental nurses having a major influence on the council. It is important that they should have an input. They could inform the council of what was happening in their area and what might create difficulties so that there would not be a question of confrontation arising. The committee structure would work much more closely with the council if they had representatives on the council. I am asking the Minister to accept this amendment. I am not suggesting an increase in the membership of the council. If the Minister likes he can increase the figure of 19 by four to meet our amendment. To keep the number at 19 I am eliminating two from the universities and two from the election procedure and I am asking that those four should be representatives of dental technicians and nurses. I am asking the Minister if he would accept representation from these people who are working closely with dentists but in a separate occupation or profession.