Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Ceisteanna (453)

Declan Breathnach

Ceist:

453. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Health if consideration will be given to a mechanism to force a doctor already struck off the register for offences and misconduct to present themselves to answer new charges of misconduct leading to the death of a patient; his views on whether it is unfair that such charges be brought merely on the grounds that the doctor is already struck off; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22021/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Medical Practitioners Act 2007, complaints against registered medical practitioners are a matter for the Medical Council. I have no role in relation to such matters and am specifically precluded by section 9 of the Act from giving policy directions to the council in relation to the performance of its functions in the area of complaints concerning registered medical practitioners.

The Medical Council's remit, as set out in the Medical Practitioners Act 2007, provides the Council with the authority to investigate complaints against registered medical practitioners in Ireland. If a doctor has been struck off the Medical Council’s register following a Fitness to Practice inquiry they can no longer be placed on or apply for registration with the Medical Council. The Medical Council cannot investigate complaints against people who are not on the register.

In the situation where allegations have been made about a former registered medical practitioner, depending on the nature of the facts, another State body may decide to investigate, for example if allegations related to a matter of a criminal nature the Gardaí may decide to investigate.

It is an offence for a practitioner to practise unregistered. Section 105 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 provides the Medical Council with the power to inform the Gardaí, the Minister and, if necessary, to apply for an injunction in respect of a practitioner who is not on the register but continues to practise.

If a registered medical practitioner is struck off the register following a Fitness to Practice inquiry an alert is sent to all EU countries and to other jurisdictions as deemed necessary.