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HIQA gets representation on key national ionising radiation steering group

It has been anticipated that HIQA will become the competent authority for ionising radiation protection. However, HIQA has also raised the prospect of numerous competent authorities in this area, according to minutes of a November board meeting seen by the Medical Independent (MI).

The Euratom Basic Safety Standards (BSS) Directive Transposition Steering Group  was established in response to the requirement of Member States to transpose the provisions of the EU Directive, known as Euratom BSS Directive, which consolidates previous legislation relating to ionising radiation, by February 2018.

Regulation under the Directive will relate to the systems of care provided, individual healthcare professionals, and potentially, certain types of products.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) is the lead Department responsible for the transposition of the BSS Directive into Irish law.

While it has been intended that HIQA would be the competent authority for regulating areas covered by the Directive, it was not originally on the steering group charged to work on the ionising radiation requirements.

The Authority has also raised the prospect of more than one competent authority in respect of ionising radiation.

 “HIQA has liaised with other EU countries to consider approaches being taken by other regulators and one of the findings indicate that in other countries, numerous bodies, rather than a single body, have been designated as competent authorities,” according to meeting minutes from November.

“In light of this, it is suggested it would be sensible for the single-body approach to be re-examined, as it may be more fitting for professional and product regulators to regulate areas relevant to their existing remit.”

The steering group has met four times to date, the most recent meeting having taken place on 7 February last.

HIQA was not represented at the first three meetings of the group. A spokesperson for HIQA recently confirmed to MI that it was represented at the most recent meeting, which was also attended by representatives of the DCCAE, Department of Health, Health and Safety Authority, and the Environmental Protection Agency. 

The next meeting of the group will take place in April.

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