For Written Answer on : 11/09/2023
Question Number(s): 1648 Question Reference(s): 37919/23
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Health the current situation with respect to the regulation of the athletic therapy profession in Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
A number of representative bodies for unregulated professions have approached the Department seeking to be regulated. The issues to be considered regarding the proportionate degree of regulatory force required to protect the public are complex. In light of the various issues to be considered, and in line with ongoing work in the Department of Health, the Health Research Board (HRB) was requested to carry out research on behalf of the Department to assist in policy development in this area. The report, “National Approaches to Regulating Health and Social Care Professions”, examines the approaches to the regulation of health and social care professionals internationally and is publicly available on the Department’s website (https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/ea62b-national-approaches-to-regulating-health-and-social-care-professions/).
Officials in the Department of Health are in the process of drawing from this report and other relevant sources to develop a framework to guide policy on the regulation of health and social care professionals into the future. This framework will also be informed by an evidence and risk-based approach to regulation in line with requirements set out in the EU Proportionality Test Directive, which was transposed into Irish law on 19 August 2022 (S.I. No. 413/2022). Further information on the Proportionality Test Directive can be found here: https://single-market-economy.ec.europa.eu/news/services-directive-handbookproportionality-test-directive-guidance-2022-12-22_en
There are no plans in place to progress regulation of individual professions until appropriate risk-assessment and evaluation tools are in place in compliance with best practice, international evidence, and the Proportionality Test Directive.
My officials will be preparing a report on progress made in developing a framework to guide future decision-making on the regulation of health and social care professions, which will be laid before each House of the Oireachtas within six months of commencement of the Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) Act 2023.