Press Release

Launch of Commencement of Part 11 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007

Today 31st May 2010, Mary Harney T.D., Minister for Health and Children officially launched the commencement of Part 11 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 dealing with the maintenance of professional competence of registered medical practitioners.

On 1 May 2010, the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 (Commencement) Order 2010 brought into effect Part 11 and related provisions of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007. Within one year of the commencement of these provisions, the Medical Council will be required to develop, establish and operate one or more schemes of competence assurance; to submit it to the Minister for consideration; and to develop statutory rules regarding the operation of the scheme which must be laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas.

All registered medical practitioners will be required to maintain their professional competence on an ongoing basis and to co-operate with any rules or requirements in relation to a scheme in this regard. A link to the Fitness to Practise system is provided where issues arise in relation to individual medical practitioners following participation in a scheme.

“The commencement of these provisions of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 will introduce, for the first time, a statutory requirement for doctors to maintain their professional competence” the Minister said “This is a significant step in implementing a modern, reformed system of regulation for the medical profession which will satisfy the public and the profession that medical practitioners are appropriately qualified and competent to practise in a safe manner on a continuing basis.”

“These provisions are part of a suite of legislative instruments, including the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, the Pharmacy Act 2007, and the forthcoming Nurses and Midwives Bill, aimed at enhancing patient safety and the accountability of health professionals.” the Minister concluded.