Dáil Éireann - Volume 532 - 20 March, 2001

Written Answers. - Advisory Committee on Medical Training.

372. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children his views on the decision of the European Union Commission to dissolve the Advisory Committee on Medical Training, thus withdrawing any forum to discuss plans regarding professional qualifications being introduced by [1212] the Commission; and if he has been in contact with the Medical Council on the matter. [7955/01]

375. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to the concern expressed by the Medical Council over moves by the European Commission to introduce without consultation new rules on recognition of professional qualifications; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that these new rules could result in Eastern European doctors being given an automatic right to work here after enlargement of the European Union. [8004/01]

378. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children if he proposes to investigate the future of regulation of EU doctors following the dissolution of the European-based Regulation Body. [8035/01]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): I propose to take Questions Nos. 372, 375 and 378 together.

Changes for the reform of the advisory committees structure under the Simpler Legislation in the Internal Market Initiative have been proposed. The Advisory Committee on Medical Training, which is still in existence, is included in these proposals. While changes have been proposed for some time, the Commission has been, as part of a wider review, developing a Communication on New European Labour Markets. Further to this review the Commission will launch a consultation procedure which will take place from May to October 2001.

Reforms proposed for the Advisory Committee on Medical Training are viewed by the Medical Council with concern. It is the view of the Medical Council that acceptance of these proposals would mean that the competent authorities for the regulation of medicine in the EU would have no means to address issues such as training, standards of quality or regulatory mechanisms.

Ireland has already made its objections to the original proposals known. It is intended to present further views on the regulation of professions and on how the Advisory Committee of Medical Training can be restructured without diluting its effectiveness.