Written answers

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Photo of David CullinaneDavid Cullinane (Waterford, Sinn Fein)
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215. To ask the Minister for Health his response to a submission by a group (details supplied); if legislation is planned to add physiotherapists to the list of persons permitted to refer a person for ionising radiation; if he is liaising with the HSE to introduce the proposed grade of advanced practice physiotherapist; the timeframe for delivering the proposals in the pre-Budget submission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59633/21]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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Council Directive 2013/59/EURATOM (the BSSD), insofar as it relates to the designation of referrers, was fully transposed by the European Union (Basic Safety Standards for Protection Against Dangers Arising from Medical Exposure to Ionising Radiation) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 256 of 2018).

These regulations designate those who may refer for radiological tests; nurses, doctors, dentists, and radiographers are designated as appropriate. It should be noted that not all statutorily regulated professions are designated for the purposes of the BSSD. Physiotherapists are not designated in the regulations and were not designated as referrers (prescribers) under the previous regulations. 

The requirement for physiotherapists to order x-rays needs to be determined in the context of the new models of healthcare envisaged under Sláintecare.  If a requirement is established in the future then legislation changes supported by a clinical professional position, development of relevant education and competency standards of practice will also be required.

HSCP Deliver, A HSCP Strategic Guidance Framework for Health and Social Care Professions 2021-2026 (National Health and Social Care Professionals Office, HSE 2021), launched by the HSE Chief Clinical Officer, Dr Colm Henry, includes commitments regarding progressing advanced practice for Health and Social Care Professionals.

The National HSCP Office working with senior management in the HSE and in liaison with my Department, is leading a project to progress advanced practice in the Health and Social Care Professions including but not limited to physiotherapists, which encompasses developing an overarching framework incorporating all the key considerations and factors including an agreed definition and approach across the professions, core competencies, a planned approach to meeting educational requirements, governance and regulatory considerations which can inform policy development in this area.

The proposals identified in the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists Pre-Budget Submission 2022 will be considered in the context of the framework outlined above.


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