Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (246)

Jerry Buttimer

Question:

249 Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for Health his plans to regulate the cosmetic surgery industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34217/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health)

Health care professionals, including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists etc. employed by Cosmetic Surgery Clinics in Ireland are required to be registered with their relevant professional regulatory body. Much of the legislation governing healthcare professionals has been extensively updated and amended in recent years with the publication of a number of relevant Acts including the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, the Medical Practitioners Act 2007, the Pharmacy Act 2007 and the Nurses and Midwives Act 2011. In addition, my Department is in the process of preparing legislation to make it mandatory for all medical practitioners engaged in clinical practice to have adequate clinical indemnity insurance.

Cosmetic surgery is one of the priority areas which has been identified to be addressed by a new system of licensing. Officials of my Department are currently working on the Licensing of Health Facilities Bill which will provide for a mandatory system of licensing for public and private health service providers. The legislative proposals are being prepared broadly in line with recommendations made in the Report of the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Insurance and are designed to improve patient safety by ensuring that healthcare providers do not operate below core standards which are applied in a consistent and systematic way. The intention is to have a proportionate system which has the confidence of the public. Standards and other requirements will be enforceable through inspection and imposition of sanctions as necessary. Licensing will be targeted at areas which are not currently subject to regulation. It is expected that outline proposals for the new system of licensing should be finalised by year end.