Seanad debates

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Bill 2019: Committee Stage


10:30 am

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

It can be frustrating at times but it is hard to dispute her expertise when it comes to the law and her knowledge of these matters. As the Senator knows, because I articulated such comments to her earlier, I have a concern about the practical implications of some of these amendments. Having said that, however, I do not intend to oppose them. I intend to engage with Senator Bacik and interested colleagues in my party and the Opposition between now and Report Stage to ensure we get the best possible outcome. This House is trying to ensure that those who are pharmaceutical assistants today will be able to continue practising in their career, using their qualification for their livelihood, knowing this is a legacy issue and there are not new pharmaceutical assistants being trained in Ireland and the numbers are declining year on year. They should also know that out of respect, dignity and an acknowledgement of the major contribution they make, they should be allowed to continue and finish their careers with certainty.

One of the frustrating aspects of being a Minister is that on occasion I am precluded from really saying much more about this. There is a legal case, a regulatory structure and regulations in my Department. I hope those people can take where I stand from my words of thanks and gratitude, and the fact that I do not intend to oppose the amendments today. I will engage further with Senators between now and Report Stage as to whether this amendment is the best way to achieve the same outcome. It is certainly the view of Seanad Éireann and my view that the sensible thing to do is allow the amendment pass on Committee Stage and engage further between now and Report Stage.


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