The provisions of the Health Act 2007 do not confer any powers on the Health Information and Quality Authority to set or monitor standards in private hospitals. However, healthcare professionals, such as doctors and nurses employed in private hospitals, are required to be registered with their relevant professional body.
Work is currently underway in my Department on legislative proposals relating to the development of a licensing framework for health care facilities. Such a framework will provide for a mandatory system of licensing for public and private health care providers. It will be designed to improve patient safety by ensuring that providers do not operate below standards which are applied in a consistent and systemic way. Legislative proposals are at an advanced stage and I expect proposals to be submitted to me shortly for approval with a view to seeking Government approval to publish a General Scheme and Heads of a Bill.