Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (468)

Finian McGrath

Question:

468. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health his views on homoeopathy as a complimentary therapy; his plans to develop this in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11008/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

My Department’s primary concern is to try to establish the most effective way to regulate the complementary therapy sector, in order to protect patient safety while still allowing people freedom of choice; and its immediate priority for the foreseeable future is the statutory registration of the designated health and social care professions (i.e. clinical biochemist; dietitian; medical scientist; occupational therapist; orthoptist; physiotherapist; podiatrist; psychologist; radiographer; social care worker; social worker; speech and language therapist) through the full implementation of the Health and Social Care Professionals Council.

General policy on complementary therapy, including homoeopathy, is informed by the National Working Group on the Regulation of Complementary Therapists which reported in 2005. In line with a recommendation of the National Working Group, the Department of Health supports greater voluntary self-regulation of complementary therapy. While persons providing complementary therapies, including homoeopathy, are not subject to professional statutory regulation, they are subject to a range of legislation and regulation, similar to other practitioners including consumer legislation, competition, contract and criminal law. My Department also makes available an information leaflet on complementary therapy to assist consumers in making an informed health choice - a copy of which is available at http://www.dohc.ie/publications/pdf/complementary_therapists_leaflet.pdf?direct=1.