Written Answers. - Register of Herbal Medicines.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

247 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the plans, if any, he has for the registration of herbal practitioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1173/94]

The general position in regard to complementary medicine in Ireland is that it is not regulated by statute and there are no proposals, at present, to so regulate it.

Practitioners of alternative therapies including herbal practitioners are free to engage in practice provided they do not represent themselves as being registered practitioners. Those engaged in practice are, of course, subject to general common law provisions.

I am well aware that the representative bodies of practitioners of alternative medicine are concerned about the issues of control of standards and codes of practice in the area. I, as Minister for Health, have encouraged the various therapists to establish their own regulatory structures and to develop mechanisms to inform the general public about the availability of services from reputable therapists.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

248 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the progress towards the setting up and operation of a register of herbal medicines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1174/94]

The controls governing the licensing, advertisement and sale of medical preparations, including herbal medicines, are set out in the Medical Preparations (Licensing, Advertisement and Sale) Regulations, 1984-1993.

It is not my intention to establish a separate register of herbal medicines since such medicines are already subject to existing licensing requirements.