Written Answers. - Audiological Services.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

118 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to the need to regulate audiological services in a similar way to which they are organised in the United Kingdom which would include setting standards for entry to the profession, registration of professionals working in the field and setting ethical guidelines; his views on this and the need for an audiological council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1955/99]

The last initiative by my Department regarding registration of paramedical professions commenced in November 1995, but following consultation with the professions involved, there were fundamental differences between the professions on the type of registration that could be implemented. Officials of my Department are currently looking at registration systems operating in other countries to see how these systems might apply in Ireland. Audiometricians were not included in the original group to be covered by such registration, and it has not yet been decided if the group will be included in the next initiative.

Regarding the Deputy's query of the establishment of an audiological council, officials of my Department are to meet shortly with the professional body representing audiometricians to discuss this issue among others.