I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Finian McGrath.
Health and Social Care Professionals (Amendment) Bill 2018: Committee and Remaining Stages
I wish to say a few words in respect of the Bill. As the House is aware, this is a short technical Bill that contains only five sections. It will amend the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 to provide that all non-Irish professional qualifications which have been recognised by the Minister and by bodies acting on behalf of the State prior to the introduction of statutory registration for a health and social care professional will continue to be recognised for the purpose of registration under the Act. This will allow holders of such qualifications to be statutorily registered and to practice their professions. The existing legislation does not allow for the registration of non-EU persons or persons with non-EEA qualifications whose qualifications had previously been recognised in Ireland. The Bill addresses the lacuna in this regard.
I thank all the Senators for their valuable contributions on Second Stage. I trust that the Bill can now proceed to the Dáil with a view to enactment and the commencement of its provisions by the end of the year. The sooner the provisions are commenced, the sooner appropriately qualified health and social care professionals can register with the registration board, CORU, and practise their professions. This is very important for social care professionals and I warmly welcome it.
I thank the Minister of State for bringing forward this legislation. It is technical in nature and covers a wide range of areas. It is important that we have proper regulation and that there is proper accountability. The Bill will give rise to both. All of the additional professions will be brought within its ambit. It is extremely important that we put in place the necessary regulation.