Written Answers. - Health Regulatory Bodies.

John McGuinness

Question:

607 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Health and Children the progress in establishing a proper regulatory body for paramedics and in particular podiatrists and chiropodists; if he has received submissions from national organisations in this regard; and, if so, if he will make a statement on their suggestions and his proposals. [20198/00]

Talks are taking place with the professional bodies representing 13 professions with a view to agreeing a system of statutory registration for allied health professionals, formerly known as paramedics, by the end of 2000. The professions included in the current talks are physiotherapists, social workers, radiographers, psychologists, chiropodists/podiatrists, care workers, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, environmental health officers, biochemists, orthoptists and medical laboratory technicians.

The Department produced a consultative document which formed the basis of a series of workshops, where the professional bodies have been given an opportunity to fully debate the issues involved. Good progress is being made at these workshops and it is hoped to have reached agreement by the end of this year or early next year.