I move amendment No. 4:
In page 7, between lines 4 and 5, to insert the following:
“Health needs assessment
6. The Principal Act is amended by the insertion of the following section before section 10B:
“10AA. (1) A direction under section 10(2)(c) shall include specific requirements to be taken into consideration by the Executive when conducting a health needs assessment.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the specific requirements referred to in that subsection may include the effects of such of the following matters on the accessibility and effectiveness of healthcare strategies implemented by the Executive as the Minister is satisfied are appropriate:
(a) changes to national or regional distribution of population;
(b) demographic profile of population;
(c) lifestyle factors affecting health;
(d) patterns of morbidity across population;
(e) patterns of mortality across population;
(f) social determinants of health status.
(3) (a) The Minister shall consult with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform before issuing a direction under section 10(2)(c).
(b) Paragraph (a) shall not be construed to prevent the Minister from consulting with any other person (including the Executive or another Minister of the Government) before issuing a direction under section 10(2)(c).
(4) The Executive shall submit a report of the findings of any health needs assessment to the Minister within the period specified by the Minister in the direction concerned under section 10(2)(c).
(5) (a) Within one month after receiving a report under subsection (4), the Minister shall—
(i) approve the report, or
(ii) if the Minister is not satisfied with the report, issue a supplementary direction under section 10(2)(c) in relation to revisions to be made to the report which, when complied with by the Executive, should, in the opinion of the Minister, remedy the deficiencies in the report.
(b) Where paragraph (a)(ii) applies, section 10(2)(c) and the other provisions of this section (including paragraph (a)) shall be construed with all necessary modifications to take account of the supplementary direction concerned under section 10(2)(c).
(6) The Executive shall ensure that, as soon as practicable after the approval of a report in accordance with subsection (5)(a)(i), the report is published on the Internet or in accordance with such other arrangements as the Minister may specify by notice in writing given to the Executive.
(7) The Minister may issue guidelines in relation to the conduct of a health needs assessment and, if he or she does so, the Executive shall comply with those guidelines.
(8) For the purposes of this section and section 10, ‘health needs assessment’ means a scientific, statistical or other systematic analysis, the purpose of which is to gather and assess information with a view to bringing about change beneficial to the health of a specified part of, or all of, the population.".".