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Busy Dáil session ahead on Health Bills

27 Jan 2017

The licensing of supervised injection facilities and laying the legislative foundation of the new children’s hospital are among a range of health Bills that the Government aims to prioritise in the new Dáil term.

According to the Government’s legislation programme for spring/summer 2017, which was released last week, the Misuse of Drugs (Supervised Injecting Facilities) Bill and the New Children’s Hospital Establishment Bill are among 31 Government Bills due to be published by July 2017. They are also listed among the Bills due to undergo pre-legislative stages.

Additional health Bills due to be published in the coming term include a scheme to make individual payments as a contribution towards transport costs for people with severe disabilities on low incomes and to provide medical cards to all children on Domiciliary Care Allowance.

The programme states that the Heads of the New Children’s Hospital Bill are expected to be published early this year, which will establish a statutory body to provide paediatric acute services in Dublin at the new children’s hospital, taking over those services currently provided by Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght Hospital. It will also make amendments relating to the functions of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (Establishment) Order.

The Government legislative programme also includes a list of 69 additional Bills that the Government plans to introduce “in the longer term”. The health Bills in this group include: the Health Information and Patient Safety Bill, which will extend HIQA’s remit to private healthcare providers; the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill, to regulate assisted human reproduction services; the Health & Wellbeing (Calorie Posting and Workplace Wellbeing) Bill, which will require food premises to display calories on menus; and the Public Health (Sale of Tobacco Products and Non-Medicinal Nicotine Delivery Systems) Bill, which will provide for the retail licensing of tobacco products and non-medical nicotine delivery systems (e-cigarettes).

The programme also contains a commitment to introduce the long-awaited Human Tissues Bill to meet the key recommendation of the Madden Report that no hospital post-mortem may be carried out and no tissue retained after post-mortem without consent. It will also address other matters relating to human tissue, including consent arrangements for organ transplantation and anatomical examination purposes.

Also listed on the legislative programme is the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, which will amend the Medical Practitioners Act 2007, the Dental Act 1985, the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, the Pharmacy Act 2007, the Nurses and Midwives Act 2011 and the Health Acts 1953 and 2004 to provide for: 1) amendments required by the transposition of Directive 2013/55/EU; 2) an appeal against the minor sanctions; 3) action to be taken if a person was prohibited or restricted from practising in another country; and 4) amendments in relation to a number of other issues including amendments to the registration of medical practitioners and physiotherapists/physical therapists.

june.shannon@imt.ie

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