In June this year, my Department launched a seven week public consultation process on new legislation to replace the Dentists Act, 1985. This took place from 10th June 2013 to 26th July 2013, and the objective of the consultation was to obtain the views of the public and key stakeholders on the proposed new legislation.
The public consultation was advertised in national newspapers on 10th June 2013, and on my Department's website for the full duration of the consultation period. My Department also notified 49 key stakeholder of the public consultation.
A total of 125 submissions were received, and the initial analysis of these submissions has recently been completed. Work is now underway to prepare a comprehensive report of the consultation process in order to identify the primary issues which need to be addressed in a modernised Dental Bill, and this will be published on my Department's website upon completion. The outcome of the consultation will inform the policy position taken when drafting the Heads of Bill, which will be the next stage in the process. This will also inform the undertaking of a Regulatory Impact Analysis which will be carried out by my Department. It is anticipated that the bill will be published in 2014.
My Department and the Dental Council take the matter of illegal practice very seriously and will continue to work with the relevant authorities in addressing this issue.