Wednesday, 18 December 2019
Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Bill 2019: Committee Stage
This is an example of politics and engagement on an issue working. A number of concerns were raised in the other House about the issue of minor sanctions. The Bill as drafted provides that so-called minor sanctions of advice, admonishment or censure will require confirmation by the High Court before they take effect, as is the case with the more serious sanctions provided for in the Bill, which include removal from the register and the attachment of conditions to registration. Concerns were raised in this House on Second Stage and during the Bill's passage through the Dáil that this measure would impose an unnecessary additional cost, delay the finalisation of proceedings and bring an additional degree of publicity to registrants receiving the most minor of sanctions. Having to go to the High Court for what in the Bill is envisaged to be a minor sanction was seen as quite an undertaking. I therefore undertook to examine this issue and, having consulted with the health regulators, the professional representative bodies and the unions, as I was asked by Senators, I have now decided to remove the requirement that the minor sanctions of advice, admonishment or censure be confirmed by the court. This has been welcomed by those I consulted, including the representative bodies. I thank Senators on all sides of this House for their constructive input on this change.