Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Questions (385, 386, 453)

Dan Neville

Question:

385. Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Health the status of the registration of physical therapists under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005. [40256/15]

View answer

Terence Flanagan

Question:

386. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health the status of the titles of physiotherapist and physical therapist (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40265/15]

View answer

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

453. Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Health how he will respond to the recent campaign by physiotherapists to have a common register with physical therapists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40533/15]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 385, 386 and 453 together.

I expect that the Physiotherapists Registration Board will soon make the necessary bye-laws under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 to allow it to establish its register early next year. On this basis, the title of physiotherapist will be protected for the exclusive use of the board's registrants when the register's 2 year transitional period ends in 2018.

I am currently examining the issue of also protecting the title of physical therapist under the Act. In other English speaking countries, the title of physical therapist is often used by physiotherapists. In Ireland, however, the title is used by a number of practitioners who are not physiotherapists but who are competing with physiotherapists in the private sector in the provision of musculoskeletal therapies.

Earlier this year I wrote to a number of relevant organisations regarding my proposal to protect the title of physical therapist as a variant of the title of physiotherapist and invited them to submit their views. The submissions are now being examined and I expect that I will make a decision on the matter before the end of the year. As you can appreciate there are many factors to consider. However, I can assure the House that my main concern will be to protect the public when it comes to decisions on this matter.