Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2009

9.

Reduction of payments to health professionals.

9.— (1) Notwithstanding any other enactment, contract, arrangement, understanding, expectation, circular or instrument or other document, the Minister for Health and Children may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, by regulation, F13 [ vary ], whether by formula or otherwise, the amount or the rate of payment to be made to health professionals, or classes of health professionals, in respect of any services that they render to or on behalf of a health body from the date of the regulation.

(2) Subsection (1) shall apply to the services rendered from the date of the regulation, notwithstanding that the health professionals concerned may have commenced the provision of the service prior to the date of the regulation.

(3) A regulation made under subsection (1) may fix different amounts or rates for different services, and as and from the date of the regulation, there shall be no entitlement to payment in excess of the amounts and rates so specified, although nothing in this section shall prevent any health professional from providing a service for a lesser amount or at a lower rate.

(4) Prior to making a regulation under subsection (1), the Minister for Health and Children, or, at that Minister’s direction, the health body concerned, shall engage in such consultations as that Minister considers appropriate.

(5) A regulation made under subsection (1) shall fix amounts or rates that the Minister for Health and Children considers to be fair and reasonable in the light of the purposes of this Act, having regard to the matters which that Minister considers appropriate, including any or all of the following:

( a) the terms of any existing contractual arrangements or understandings with the health professionals concerned or any expectation on their part;

( b) the terms of any circular, instrument, or document which apply to the health professionals concerned;

( c) any submissions made and views expressed during the consultations under subsection (4);

( d) the nature of the services rendered by different classes of health professionals and the general nature of expenses and commitments of the health professionals providing those services;

F13 [ (e) the impact, if any, on the State s ability to continue to provide health services at existing levels; ]

F13 [ (f) the fairness and efficiency of any method of effecting any amendment to payments having regard to the requirements of good and effective administration; and ]

F14 [ (g) the need to retain firm control of current Exchequer expenditure so as to ensure ongoing access to international funding and improve competitiveness, while taking into account the continuing risks to the public finances which remain, and the need to meet the State s commitments to have a prudent fiscal policy under the Stability and Growth Pact and the Fiscal Compact. ]

(6) The powers conferred on or exercised by the Minister for Health and Children under this section shall not affect any existing right to negotiate or amend rates or contracts generally which that Minister or the health body concerned enjoys apart from this section, and those rights may be exercised in conjunction with, in addition to or instead of the powers conferred by this Act.

(7) Consultations under subsection (4) shall be completed no later than 30 days after the Minister for Health and Children gives notice of the commencement of the consultations.

(8) A health professional who does not wish to continue to render services to or on behalf of the health body concerned on the basis of a payment regime fixed in a regulation made under subsection (1) may give 30 days’ notice to that effect to the health body and, on the expiration of those 30 days, shall be relieved of any obligation to render those services notwithstanding any contractual or other term with regard to notice.

(9) If a health body receives notice from a health professional under subsection (8), it may, notwithstanding any other enactment, contract, implementing circular, instrument or other document, engage the services of other health professionals to ensure that the services continue to be available.

(10) The Minister for Health and Children may define the manner in which consultations under subsection (4) are to be conducted and conduct them in such manner, and with such representatives of health professionals or otherwise, as he or she considers appropriate, and nothing in the Competition Act 2002 shall prevent participation by that Minister or any such representative in such consultations, or the communication and discussion of the outcome of such consultations by the representatives with the health professionals they represent.

(11) The Minister for Health and Children may make regulations to do anything that appears necessary or expedient for bringing this section into operation, or facilitating its operation, with a view to fulfilling the purposes for which this Act was enacted.

(12) Regulations made under subsection (11) may contain such incidental, supplementary and consequential provisions as appear to the Minister for Health and Children to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the regulations.

(13) Without prejudice to section 13 , the Minister for Health and Children may from time to time and shall, before 30 June in 2010 and every year after 2010, carry out a review of the operation, effectiveness and impact of the amounts and rates fixed by regulation under this section and consider the appropriateness of those amounts and rates, having regard to any change of circumstances and in particular any alteration of any of the matters mentioned in subsection (5).

(14) If, after completing a review under subsection (13), the Minister for Health and Children considers it appropriate to do so, that Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, by regulation adjust (whether by formula or otherwise) the amount or the rate of payment to be made to health professionals, or classes of health professionals, in respect of any services that they render to or on behalf of a health body from the date of the regulation.

(15) Subsections (2) to (12) apply, with the necessary modifications, to the making of regulations under subsection (14).

(16) Regulations made under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after they are made and, if a resolution annulling the regulations is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the regulations are laid before it, the regulations shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under the regulations.

(17) In this section—

“health body” means the Health Service Executive and any other body under the aegis of the Minister for Health and Children wholly or partly funded by the Exchequer to which, or on behalf of which, health professionals render services; and

“health professional” includes—

( a) a registered medical practitioner,

( b) a registered dentist,

( c) a registered pharmacist,

( d) an optometrist,

( e) an ophthalmologist,

( f) a podiatrist, and

( g) a chiropodist.

(18) Where the provider of a service of a kind normally provided by a health professional is a company or other body corporate, or the legal personal representative of a deceased health professional, a reference in this section to a health professional includes the company or other body corporate or legal personal representative.

(19) In this section, payment in respect of a service rendered by a health professional includes payment in respect of goods provided by that health professional as part of the service.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F13

Substituted (30.11.2015) by Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2015 (39/2015), s. 8(a), (b)(i), (ii), S.I. No. 546 of 2015.

F14

Inserted (30.11.2015) by Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2015 (39/2015), s. 8(b)(iii), S.I. No. 546 of 2015.

F15

Repealed (1.01.2019) by Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 (34/2017), s. 4(1), commenced as per s. 4(2). Provision made in s. 43 for regulations made under subs. (1) to remain in operation for a period of one year following the repeal of this section.

Modifications (not altering text):

C14

Prospective affecting provision: section repealed (1.01.2019) by Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 (34/2017), s. 4(1), commenced as per s. 4(2).

9.— F15 [ ]

Editorial Notes:

E7

Power pursuant to section exercised (1.07.2017) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Community Pharmacy Contractors) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 272 of 2017).

E8

Power pursuant to section exercised (1.12.2016) by Health Professionals (Payments to General Practitioners) (National Immunisation Programmes) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 577 of 2016).

E9

Power pursuant to section exercised (5.05.2016) by Health Professionals (Variations of Payments to General Practitioners) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 233 of 2016).

E10

Power pursuant to section exercised (24.07.2013) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Community Pharmacy Contractors) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 279 of 2013).

E11

Power pursuant to section exercised (24.07.2013) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Community Pharmacy Contractors) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 279 of 2013).

E12

Power pursuant to section exercised (24.07.2013) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Consultant Psychiatrists) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 276 of 2013).

E13

Power pursuant to section exercised (24.07.2013) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Ophthalmologists, Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 274 of 2013).

E14

Power pursuant to section exercised (19.12.2012) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Registered Dentists) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 548 of 2012).

E15

Power pursuant to section exercised (29.10.2010) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments in respect of Services under the National Cervical Screening Programme) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 510 of 2010).

E16

Power pursuant to section exercised (29.05.2009) by Financial Emergency Measures In the Public Interest (Reduction In Payments To Veterinary Practitioners) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 216 of 2009), as amended (1.06.2010) by Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Reduction of Payments to Veterinary Practitioners) (Adjustment) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 264 of 2010), reg. 3, and (29.06.2012) by Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Reduction of Payments to Veterinary Practitioners)(Adjustment) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 232 of 2012), reg. 3.

E17

Power pursuant to section exercised (1.05.2009) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments To Registered Dentists) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 171 of 2009).

E18

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (24.07.2013) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to General Practitioners) (National Immunisation Programmes) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 278 of 2013); revoked (1.12.2016) by Health Professionals (Payments to General Practitioners) (National Immunisation Programmes) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 577 of 2016), reg. 5.

E19

Previous affecting provisions: power pursuant to section exercised (24.07.2013) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to General Practitioners) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 277 of 2013); revoked (5.05.2016) by Health Professionals (Variations of Payments to General Practitioners) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 233 of 2016); reg. 6.

E20

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (3.11.2011) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to General Practitioners) (National Immunisation Programmes) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 556 of 2011); revoked (24.07.2013) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Community Pharmacy Contractors) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 278 of 2013), reg. 5.

E21

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (20.06.2011) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Community Pharmacy Contractors) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 300 of 2011); revoked (24.07.2013) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Community Pharmacy Contractors) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 279 of 2013), reg. 5.

E22

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.06.2011) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Optometrists for Certain Services) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 261 of 2011); revoked (24.07.2013) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Ophthalmologists, Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 274 of 2013), reg. 5(b).

E23

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (28.03.2011) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Registered Dentists) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 135 of 2011); revoked (19.12.2012) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Registered Dentists) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 548 of 2012), reg. 6.

E24

Previous affecting provision: (30.09.2010) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Consultant Psychiatrists) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 473 of 2010); revoked (24.07.2013) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Consultant Psychiatrists) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 276 of 2013), reg. 4.

E25

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (22.12.2010) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to General Practitioners) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 638 of 2010); revoked (24.07.2013) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to General Practitioners) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 277 of 2013), reg. 6.

E26

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (7.07.2009) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments To General Practitioners) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 262 of 2009); revoked (22.12.2010) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to General Practitioners) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 638 of 2010), reg. 5.

E27

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.07.2009) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments To Community Pharmacy Contractors) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 246 of 2009); revoked (20.06.2011) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Community Pharmacy Contractors) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 300 of 2011), reg. 5.

E28

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (18.05.2009) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments To Ophthalmologists, Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 195 of 2009); revoked (24.07.2013) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Community Pharmacy Contractors) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 274 of 2013), reg. 5(a).

E29

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.05.2009) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments In Respect of Services Under the National Cervical Screening Programme) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 173 of 2009); revoked (29.10.2010) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments in respect of Services under the National Cervical Screening Programme) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 510 of 2010), reg. 4.

E30

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.05.2009) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments To Consultant Psychiatrists) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 172 of 2009); revoked (30.09.2010) by Health Professionals (Reduction of Payments to Consultant Psychiatrists) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 473 of 2010), reg. 4.