Thursday, 12 February 2004

Questions (145)

Richard Bruton

Question:

145 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Health and Children the credentials which are required for a person to operate as a chiropractor; the circumstances in which such a practitioner can administer x-rays; and the supervision of professional practise or investigation of alleged mistreatment which applied in relation to such practitioners. [4408/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health and Children)

Chiropractors are not currently authorised to administer x-rays. The European Communities (Medical Ionising Radiation) Regulations, 2002 give effect to Council Directive 97/43/EURATOM on health protection of individuals against the dangers of ionising radiation in respect of medical exposures. Under the regulations persons who are entitled to take clinical responsibility for an individual medical exposure are those whose names are entered on (a) the register established under section 26 of the Medical Practitioners Act 1978; (b) the register established under section 26 of the Dentists Act 1985; and (c) such other register or registers as the Minister for Health and Children may from time to time establish.

I have not yet established any register under (c). However, my Department has established a medical exposure directive advisory group, MEDAG, to draw up the requirements for inclusion in such a register. MEDAG is currently examining the training requirements as outlined in the directive including theoretical knowledge and practical experience in radiological practice and radiation protection. When finalised, persons who meet the requirements, including chiropractors, would be entitled to registration under the European Communities (Medical Ionising Radiation) Regulations, 2002.

There are currently no statutory regulation requirements for chiropractors in Ireland. Moreover, chiropractors are not employed in the public health service and therefore their qualifications are not subject to the requirements of the Health Act 1970. It is the responsibility of every individual practitioner providing health care services to the public to ensure that they are trained and qualified to the level required to work safely within their area of competence.