Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Ceisteanna (441)

Mattie McGrath


441. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health if measures are in place to provide for a statutory declaration by consultants, clinicians and other medical practitioners who receive gifts or donations from pharmaceutical and other companies involved in the healthcare sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5582/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Ethics in Public Office Acts, positions in the Health Service Executive across all grade categories and work streams where the minimum salary point is equal to or above the minimum point of Grade VIII, including medical doctors, must provide a disclosure of interest, which could influence them in the performance of their official duties. The Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) publishes guidelines to ensure compliance with the legislation.

The Irish Pharmacy Healthcare Association (IPHA) has a Code of Practice in place which requires all IPHA member companies to disclose payments, collaborations and other transfers of values made to healthcare professionals and healthcare organisations. Disclosable activities include medical conferences; clinical trials and research and patient education and awareness initiatives, as well as specific interactions such as research and medical grants. While full disclosure is given in relation to healthcare organisations, disclosure of interactions with individual healthcare professionals requires consent. Consent is encouraged but in its absence an aggregate figure for an unnamed professional is published.

Regulation of medical doctors is undertaken by the Medical Council. The Medical Council has a guide published in 2016, the Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Medical Practitioners. While the Guide is not a legal code, it sets out the principles of professional practice and conduct that all medical doctors registered with the Medical Council are expected to follow. The Guide advises that doctors 'should not accept gifts (including hospitality) from pharmaceutical, medical devices or other commercial enterprises'. In May 2018 the Medical Council issued updated guidance for registered medical practitioners on relationships between doctors and industry which covers a number of issues such as gifts, sponsorship and hospitality.