A Department of Health spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI) the Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Bill is “a large and complex Bill and the current timeframe is to publish it in the near future, subject to Government approval and no major issues arising. The Bill will then go through the various parliamentary stages in both Houses of the Oireachtas.”
The Bill will amend the Medical Practitioners Act to remove the requirement to hold the equivalence of the certificate of experience (internship) for entry to the trainee specialist division of the medical register. This requirement of internship equivalence is preventing some non-EU doctors from accessing training posts, even where they may hold memberships of Irish postgraduate medical colleges.
“There will also be a number of amendments to the fitness to practise provisions of the Medical Practitioners Act and the Nurses and Midwives Act, which should result in speeding up the FTP process,” added the Department’s spokesperson.
The Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Bill will make amendments to the five health professional regulatory Acts (the Medical Practitioners Act 2007; the Nurses and Midwives Act 2011; the Pharmacy Act 2007; the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005; and the Dentists Act 1985), consequential to the transposition of Directive 2005/36/EC (as amended by Directive 2013/55/EU) on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications.
In January, MI reported that the amendments were expected to be published in the first half of 2018.
In November 2016, the Department indicated that amendments were due to be published in the first quarter of 2017. Previously, publication had been expected before the end of 2016, as outlined in a written parliamentary response by Minister for Health Simon Harris in June 2016.