Thursday, 19 March 2020
An Bille Sláinte (Caomhnú agus Cosaint agus Bearta Éigeandála Eile Ar Mhaithe Le Leas an Phobail), 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages
Pa Daly (Kerry, Sinn Fein)
The term "medical officer" should be clearly defined for the avoidance of any doubt. I state that because serious powers are being invested in him or her. A draft order should also be provided for the medical officer to sign and it should be a uniform order. The terms of the order should be included in any annex or Schedule or in the regulations. The regulations should also provide that a detainee must be informed of his or her right to request a review of the detention under section 38A(6). It is unfortunate, but experience tells me the medical officer should have reasonable grounds to detain, as the Minister outlined in his speech, rather than what is in the legislation regarding operating in good faith. This is a simple protection that will ensure the medical officer has a basis for his or her view and he or she exercises it in a proportionate manner.