Written Answers. - Proposed Legislation.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

547 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Health and Children the proposals for legislation being prepared under the auspices of his Department where heads have not yet been approved by the Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19592/00]

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

548 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Health and Children the proposals for legislation being prepared under the auspices of his Department where heads have been approved by the Government; the expected date of publication; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19607/00]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 547 and 548 together.

Details of legislation being prepared where heads have not been approved are as follows:

Ratification of the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption.

The purpose of this legislation is to provide for the ratification of the Hague Convention which was signed in 1993. Draft heads of a Bill are being prepared at present and are expected to be brought to Government during 2000.

Legislation is being prepared in the area of adoption information, post-adoption contact and associated issues. An increasing number of adult adopted persons are seeking information about their birth parents in order to complete that aspect of their identity. Equally, many birth parents are seeking information on children whom they gave up for adoption or placement in the past because keeping them was not a realistic option given the social and economic circumstances at the time. Draft heads of the Bill are being prepared and a memorandum for Government is expected shortly.

Talks are taking place with the professional bodies representing 13 professions with a view to agreeing a system of statutory registration by the end of 2000. The professions included in the current talks are physiotherapists, social workers, radiographers, psychologists, chiropodists, care workers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, environmental health officers, biochemists, orthopists and medical laboratory technicians. The aim is to conclude the detailed discussions with the professions this year and to bring forward legislation in the early part of next year on this issue.
Currently there are draft legislative proposals for amending the Nurses Act, 1985, in order to give effect to the relevant recommendations of the Commission on Nursing. The target date is early next year.
The Medical Practitioners Act, 1978, is currently being examined with a view to updating and amending. It is hoped to have heads of Bill ready by end of 2000.
Consideration is being given to updating and rationalising the Pharmacy Acts, 1875 – 1977.
The Government has agreed to amend the Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal Act, 1997, to allow the tribunal compensate haemophiliacs in respect of their HIV condition. I am committed to introducing the amendments in the autumn.
A draft memorandum for Government will shortly issue for comments from other Department prior to its submission to Government, in relation to the transfer of certain functions including licensing of controlled drugs and regulation of medical devices to the Irish Medicines Board.
Legislation to give effect to the policies in relation to tobacco control contained in the policy document Towards a Tobacco Free Society.
Details of legislation being prepared where heads have been approved are as follows:
Heads of a Bill to amend the Opticians Act, 1956, are currently with the Office of the Parliamentary Draftsman and the Bill will be published at the earliest possible date.