Written Answers. - Physical Therapy.

Finian McGrath

Ceist:

226 Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children his views on correspondence (details supplied) on the issue of the Irish Association of Physical Therapists. [19104/03]

Action 105 of the Health Strategy commits my Department to strengthening and expanding provisions for statutory registration of health professionals.

In this context the heads of a Bill establishing this system of statutory registration for health and social care professionals including physiotherapists, have been approved by Government and a Bill is currently being drafted by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel based on the proposals outlined in the heads. The health and social care professionals Bill is due to be published later this year.

Under these proposals, it is intended to protect the title of "physiotherapist", that is, only those professionals registered with the registration board for physiotherapists will be legally entitled to use the title "physiotherapist". It is also proposed that it will be an offence under the legislation for an unregistered person either to use a protected title or to act in a manner which implies that they are entitled to use a protected title.

In drafting the legislation, further advice and examination will be required of the many complex legal, competition and public interest issues that arise under the Bill, including in relation to protection of title.