Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Questions (485)

Helen McEntee


485. Deputy Helen McEntee asked the Minister for Health his plans to protect public health safety by distinguishing the difference between physiotherapists and physical therapists and to protect both titles under one register for use by members of the physiotherapy profession; and when he will make a ruling on this in order to protect the public and rule out any more confusion (details supplied). [45450/15]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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. The title of physiotherapist will, as a consequence, 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 the rest of the English speaking world the titles of physical therapist and physiotherapist are interchangeable and their users are qualified 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, having consulted with the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, 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 that ensures public protection and appropriately addresses the legitimate concerns of all parties.

Question No. 486 answered with Question No. 405.