Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Questions (217)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Question:

217. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Health the reason the medical officer in his Department is advising chiropractors that they are to stop using X-ray machines or referring persons for X-rays from 6 February 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4781/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

This question relates to the transposition of the medical provisions of the Basic Safety Standards Directive (BSSD) by my Department and whether chiropractors will be designated as referrers and practitioners in the transposing regulations.

The transposing statutory instrument for the BSSD will revoke and replace existing regulations from 2002. The existing regulations do not designate chiropractors as referrers or practitioners. The current regulations lack inspection or enforcement provisions. In the new regulations HIQA will have the inspection and enforcement powers to enforce compliance and contravention of the new regulations will be an offence.

The statutory instrument transposing the BSSD will designate those who may refer for radiological tests, those who may carry them out and other functions and in this regard I propose to designate nurses, doctors, dentists and radiographers as appropriate.

The proposed designation of relevant professionals is based on patient safety and public health considerations reflected in the advice of the Chief Medical Officer. Chiropractors that currently refer individuals for medical exposures, carry out medical exposures or other related functions are not in compliance with the existing regulations.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has overall responsibility for the transposition of the BSSD. My Department will finalise the medical provisions of the BSSD in the coming weeks.