Thursday, 11 March 2004

Questions (72)

Brian O'Shea

Question:

68 Mr. O’Shea asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if her attention has been drawn to a recent survey published by a newspaper (details supplied) which showed that consumers here are paying some of the highest prices in Europe for medical and dental work; if she intends to take action to prevent the exploitation of consumers in this area; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8089/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise)

My attention has been drawn to the newspaper article concerned. While there are many factors involved in drawing comparisons between the charges for medical and dental services in Ireland and in other countries, the article confirms that it is appropriate for our competition and consumer protection agencies to be paying increased attention to the professions concerned.

In that connection, I look forward to receiving the report of the study by the Competition Authority into the medical practitioner, dentist and optometrist professions later this year. I also welcome the work which is being carried out by the Office of the Director of Consumer Affairs to stimulate greater price awareness among consumers in relation to medical services generally.