Medical Practitioners Act 2007

2.

Interpretation.

2.— In this Act, except where the context otherwise requires—

“Act of 1978” means the Medical Practitioners Act 1978;

“Act of 2002” means the Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Act 2002;

F2 [ Agency means the National Treasury Management Agency; ]

“allegation”, in relation to a complaint, means an allegation—

( a) arising out of the complaint, and

( b) which falls within one or more than one of the grounds specified in section 57(1) ;

“appropriate fee”, in relation to a provision of this Act, means the fee determined under section 36(1) that is appropriate for that provision;

“basic medical qualification” means—

( a) a qualification arising from the satisfactory completion of a programme of basic medical education and training approved under section 88(2)(a)(i)(I) ,

( b) a qualification in basic medical training specified in point 5.1.1 of Annex V to Directive 2005/36/EC, or

( c) a degree, diploma or other qualification recognised under section 88(7) to be at least the equivalent of a qualification referred to in paragraph (a);

“business plan” means a business plan prepared pursuant to section 15 (1) ;

“cancel”, in relation to the registration of a medical practitioner, means to delete the practitioner’s name from the register pursuant to a decision referred to in section 78(3) to cancel the registration of the practitioner;

“certificate of experience” means a certificate of experience granted to a medical practitioner pursuant to section 49(2) ;

“certificate of registration” means a certificate referred to in section 43 (5) ;

“chief executive officer” means the chief executive officer of the Council appointed under section 24(1) ;

“committee” means a committee established under section 20(1), (2), (3) or (4);

“complainant”, in relation to a complaint, means the person (including the Council) who made the complaint;

“complaint” means a complaint under section 57(1) ;

“conditions” includes terms;

“Council” means Comhairle na nDochtúirí Leighis or the Medical Council established by the Act of 1978 and continued in being by section 4 (1) ;

“Court” means the High Court;

“decision”, in relation to an appeal under section 54, 75, 83, 90 or 92 , includes part of a decision;

“Dental Council” means An Chomhairle Fiaclóireachta or the Dental Council established by the Dentists Act 1985;

F3 [ Directive 2005/36/EC has the meaning assigned to Directive in Regulation 3(1) of the Regulations of 2017; ]

“Fitness to Practise Committee” means the committee established under section 20(2)(b) ;

“formal qualification” means—

( a) a basic medical qualification, and

( b) a certificate of experience;

“General Division” means that division of the register referred to in section 43(2)(a) ;

“General Register of Medical Practitioners” means the register established under section 26 of the Act of 1978;

“give” includes send, whether by post or electronic or other means, and cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

“Health Service Executive” means the Health Service Executive established under section 6 of the Health Act 2004;

“Higher Education Authority” means An tÚdarás um Ard-Oideachas established by section 2 of the Higher Education Authority Act 1971 ;

F2 [ indemnity means a policy of medical indemnity insurance, or other indemnity arrangement, against losses arising from claims in respect of civil liability incurred by a medical practitioner in respect of any act or omission of that medical practitioner arising from his or her practice as a medical practitioner; ]

“inquiry” means an inquiry into a complaint by the Fitness to Practise Committee pursuant to a referral under section 63 ;

“local authority” has the same meaning as it has in the Local Government Act 2001 ;

“material interest” means material interest as construed in accordance with the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 ;

“medical practitioner” means a person who holds a basic medical qualification;

“Member State” means a state other than the State which is a member of the European Union and includes states which are parties to the agreement on the European Economic Area signed at Oporto on 2 May 1992 as adjusted by the protocol done at Brussels on 17 March 1993 and the Swiss Confederation;

F2 [ minimum level of indemnity , in relation to a medical practitioner, means the level of indemnity specified by the Agency, pursuant to section 8A (inserted by section 10 of the Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Act 2017) of the National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act 2000 , as being applicable to the class of medical practitioners (if any) into which that practitioner falls; ]

“Minister” means the Minister for Health and Children;

“poor professional performance”, in relation to a medical practitioner, means a failure by the practitioner to meet the standards of competence (whether in knowledge and skill or the application of knowledge and skill or both) that can reasonably be expected of medical practitioners practising medicine of the kind practised by the practitioner;

“practice of medicine” includes practice of surgery and other disciplines of medicine;

“practise medicine” means to engage in the practice of medicine;

“Preliminary Proceedings Committee” means the committee established under section 20(2)(a) ;

“professional competence scheme” means a scheme established under section 91 (2) ;

“published in the prescribed manner”, in relation to any document or information (howsoever described), means the document or information, as the case may be—

( a) is published on a relevant Internet website, and

( b) is available for inspection, at the offices of the Council and at all reasonable times, by members of the public;

“register” means the register of medical practitioners established under section 43(1) ;

F4 [ registered , in relation to a medical practitioner, means registered under section 44 , 46 , 47 , 48 , 49 , 50 or 50A ; ]

“registered dentist” means a person whose name is entered in the Register of Dentists established under the Dentists Act 1985;

F4 [ registered medical practitioner , subject to section 56A , means a medical practitioner whose name is for the time being entered in the register; ]

“register establishment day” means the date specified in the notice referred to in section 44(3) published in Iris Oifigiúil as the date on which the register comes into operation;

“Register of Medical Specialists” means the register established under section 30 of the Act of 1978;

F5 [ Regulations of 2017 means the European Union (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2017 ( S.I. No. 8 of 2017 ); ]

“relevant conditions”, in relation to a registered medical practitioner, means any conditions attached to the registration of the practitioner pursuant to—

( a) section 53 (3) ,

( b) a decision confirmed or given under section 54(4) ,

( c) a decision referred to in section 78(1) ,

( d) section 81 (3) , or

( e) a decision confirmed or given under section 83(3) ;

“relevant Internet website” means an Internet website of the Council (including part of such a website)—

( a) to which access is readily available by members of the public, and

( b) where anything published on the website is readily available for inspection by members of the public;

“relevant medical disability”, in relation to a medical practitioner, means a physical or mental disability of the practitioner (including addiction to alcohol or drugs) which may impair the practitioner’s ability to practise medicine or a particular aspect thereof;

“remove”, in relation to the registration of a medical practitioner, means to delete the practitioner’s name from the register pursuant to section 52 (2) or (6), 55(1) or 79(1) ;

“restore”, in relation to the registration of a medical practitioner, means to re-enter the practitioner’s name in the register pursuant to section 52 (5) , 80 or 81(2) or a decision confirmed or given under section 54(4) or 83(3) ;

“committee” means a committee established under section 20(2)(a) or (b);

“Specialist Division” means that division of the register referred to in section 43(2)(b) ;

“statement of strategy” means a statement of strategy prepared pursuant to section 13(1) ;

F6 [ Supervised Division means that division of the register referred to in section 43(2)(e) ; ]

“third country” means a state other than the State or a Member State;

“Trainee Specialist Division” means that division of the register referred to in section 43(2)(c) ;

“unregistered medical practitioner” means a medical practitioner who is not registered;

“visiting EEA practitioner” means a medical practitioner who falls within section 50(1) ;

“Visiting EEA Practitioners Division” means that division of the register referred to in section 43(2)(d) .

Annotations

Amendments:

F2

Inserted (6.11.2017) by Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Act 2017 (10/2017), s. 2, S.I. No. 481 of 2017.

F3

Substituted (17.01.2017) by European Union (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 8 of 2017), reg. 95(a)(i), in effect as per reg. 2.

F4

Substituted (8.07.2011) by Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Act (12/2011), s. 2, commenced on enactment.

F5

Inserted (17.01.2017) by European Union (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 8 of 2017), reg. 95(a)(ii), in effect as per reg. 2.

F6

Inserted (8.07.2011) by Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Act (12/2011), s. 2, commenced on enactment.

F7

Inserted by Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Act 2020 (16/2020), s. 78(a), not commenced as of date of revision.

F8

Inserted by Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Act 2020 (16/2020), s. 78(b)(i), (iv), (xii), not commenced as of date of revision.

F9

Deleted by Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Act 2020 (16/2020), s. 78(b)(xiii), not commenced as of date of revision.

F10

Substituted by Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Act 2020 (16/2020), s. 78(b)(ii), (iii), (v)-(xi), not commenced as of date of revision.

F11

Inserted by Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Act 2020 (16/2020), s. 78(c), not commenced as of date of revision.

Modifications (not altering text):

C3

Prospective affecting provision: section renumbered subs. (1), subs. (1) amended and subs. (2) inserted by Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Act 2020 (16/2020), s. 78, not commenced as of date of revision.

2.— F7 [ (1) ]In this Act, except where the context otherwise requires—

“Act of 1978” means the Medical Practitioners Act 1978 ;

“Act of 2002” means the Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Act 2002 ;

F8 [ adapter means a relevant person whose name is entered in the register of adapters; ]

F2 [ Agency means the National Treasury Management Agency; ]

“allegation”, in relation to a complaint, means an allegation—

( a) arising out of the complaint, and

( b) which falls within one or more than one of the grounds specified in section 57(1) ;

“appropriate fee”, in relation to a provision of this Act, means the fee F8 [ (if any) ] determined under section 36(1) that is appropriate for that provision;

F8 [ approved medical degree means a degree awarded in consequence of the completion of a programme of medical education and training approved under section 88(2)(a)(i)(I); ]

F8 [ authorised officer means a member of the staff of the Council appointed under section 58(1) to be an authorised officer to perform the functions specified under section 58(2) ; ]

F9 [ ]

“business plan” means a business plan prepared pursuant to section 15(1) ;

“cancel”, in relation to the registration of a medical practitioner, means to delete the practitioner’s name from the register pursuant to a decision referred to in section 78(3) to cancel the registration of the practitioner;

F8 [ certificate of adaptation means a certificate of adaptation granted to an adapter pursuant to section 36N(2) ; ]

“certificate of experience” means a certificate of experience granted to F10 [ an intern pursuant to section 36F(2) ] ;

F10 [ certificate of registration

( a ) in relation to an intern, means a certificate referred to in section 36B(5) ,

( b ) in relation to an adapter, means a certificate referred to in section 36L(5) , and

( c ) in relation to a medical practitioner, means a certificate referred to in section 43(5) ; ];

“chief executive officer” means the chief executive officer of the Council appointed under section 24(1) ;

“committee” means a committee established under section 20(1), (2), (3) or (4);

“complainant”, in relation to a complaint, means the person (including the Council) who made the complaint;

“complaint” means a complaint under section 57 (1) ;

“conditions” includes terms F8 [ and restrictions ];

“Council” means Comhairle na nDochtúirí Leighis or the Medical Council established by the Act of 1978 and continued in being by section 4(1) ;

“Court” means the High Court;

“decision”, in relation to an appeal under F10 [ section 36H , 36P , 54 , 75 , 83 , 90 or 92 ] , includes part of a decision;

“Dental Council” means An Chomhairle Fiaclóireachta or the Dental Council established by the Dentists Act 1985;

F3 [ Directive 2005/36/EC has the meaning assigned to Directive in Regulation 3(1) of the Regulations of 2017; ]

“Fitness to Practise Committee” means the committee established under section 20(2)(b) ;

F9 [ ]

“General Division” means that division of the register referred to in section 43(2)(a) ;

F8 [ general qualification shall be construed in accordance with section 44B ; ]

“General Register of Medical Practitioners” means the register established under section 26 of the Act of 1978;

“give” includes send, whether by post or electronic or other means, and cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

F8 [ health or social care , in relation to a person (howsoever described), means the health or social care that the person provides or has provided in his or her capacity as a member or former member of a relevant profession; ]

“Health Service Executive” means the Health Service Executive established under section 6 of the Health Act 2004 ;

“Higher Education Authority” means An tÚdarás um Ard-Oideachas established by section 2 of the Higher Education Authority Act 1971 ;

F2 [ indemnity means a policy of medical indemnity insurance, or other indemnity arrangement, against losses arising from claims in respect of civil liability incurred by a medical practitioner in respect of any act or omission of that medical practitioner arising from his or her practice as a medical practitioner; ]

“inquiry” means an inquiry into a complaint by the Fitness to Practise Committee pursuant to a referral under section 63 ;

F8 [ intern means a person whose name is entered in the register of interns; ]

F8 [ intern qualification shall be construed in accordance with section 36D ; ]

F8 [ investigation , in relation to a complaint, means an investigation referred to in section 58A(1) ; ]

F8 [ investigation report , in relation to a complaint, means a report referred to in section 58A(3) prepared following the investigation of the complaint; ]

F8 [ Irish formal qualification means—

( a ) an approved medical degree completed mainly in the State, and

( b ) a certificate of experience; ]

“local authority” has the same meaning as it has in the Local Government Act 2001 ;

“material interest” means material interest as construed in accordance with the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995;

F8 [ material matter , in relation to a person (howsoever described), means—

( a ) any of the following taken by any regulatory body (whether in or outside the State), other than the Council, in relation to the provision of one or more than one kind of health or social care by the person:

(i) the imposition of conditions on any registration or licence;

(ii) the suspension, withdrawal or removal of any registration or licence;

(iii) the refusal to grant registration or a licence,

or

( b ) a conviction in the State for an offence triable on indictment (other than a spent conviction within the meaning of section 5 of the Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions and Certain Disclosures) Act 2016 ) or a conviction outside the State for an offence consisting of acts or omissions that, if done or made in the State, would constitute an offence triable on indictment; ]

F10 [ medical practitioner means a person who holds a qualification recognised under section 44A(2) or who falls within section 50A(2) ; ]

F10 [ Member State means a state, other than the State, which is a member of the European Union, and includes—

( a ) a State which is a party to the agreement on the European Economic Area signed at Oporto on 2 May 1992 as adjusted by all subsequent amendments to that agreement, and

( b ) Switzerland; ]

F2 [ minimum level of indemnity , in relation to a medical practitioner, means the level of indemnity specified by the Agency, pursuant to section 8A (inserted by section 10 of the Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Act 2017) of the National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act 2000 , as being applicable to the class of medical practitioners (if any) into which that practitioner falls; ]

“Minister” means the Minister for Health and Children;

“poor professional performance”, in relation to a medical practitioner, means a failure by the practitioner to meet the standards of competence (whether in knowledge and skill or the application of knowledge and skill or both) that can reasonably be expected of medical practitioners practising medicine of the kind practised by the practitioner;

“practice of medicine” includes practice of surgery and other disciplines of medicine;

“practise medicine” means to engage in the practice of medicine;

“Preliminary Proceedings Committee” means the committee established under section 20(2)(a) ;

“professional competence scheme” means a scheme established under section 91(2) ;

“published in the prescribed manner”, in relation to any document or information (howsoever described), means the document or information, as the case may be—

( a) is published on a relevant Internet website, and

( b) is available for inspection, at the offices of the Council and at all reasonable times, by members of the public;

“register” means the register of medical practitioners established under section 43(1) ;

F10 [ registered , except in Parts 5A and 5B , means registered under section 44 , 46 , 47 , 48 , 50 or 50A ; ]

F8 [ registered address

( a ) in relation to a registered medical practitioner, means the address specified in the register of medical practitioners as the practitioner’s address,

( b ) in relation to an intern, means the address specified in the register of interns as the intern’s address, and

( c ) in relation to an adapter, means the address specified in the register of adapters as the adapter’s address; ]

“registered dentist” means a person whose name is entered in the Register of Dentists established under the Dentists Act 1985;

F10 [ registered medical practitioner , subject to sections 56A and 56B , means a medical practitioner whose name is entered in the register; ]

“register establishment day” means the date specified in the notice referred to in section 44(3) published in Iris Oifigiúil as the date on which the register comes into operation;

F8 [ register of adapters means the register of adapters established under section 36L(1) ; ]

F8 [ register of interns means the register of interns established under section 36B(1) ; ]

F8 [ register of medical practitioners means the register; ]

“Register of Medical Specialists” means the register established under section 30 of the Act of 1978;

F5 [ Regulations of 2017 means the European Union (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2017 ( S.I. No. 8 of 2017 ); ]

F10 [ relevant conditions

( a ) in relation to an intern, means any conditions attached to the registration of the intern pursuant to—

(i) section 36G(3) , (7) or (8) ,

(ii) a decision confirmed or given under section 36H(4) ,

(iii) a decision referred to in section 78(1) as that section is construed in accordance with section 56B ,

(iv) section 81(3) as that section is construed in accordance with section 56B , or

(v) a decision confirmed or given under section 83(3) as that section is construed in accordance with section 56B ,

( b ) in relation to an adapter, means any conditions attached to the registration of the adapter pursuant to—

(i) section 36O(3) , (7) or (8) ,

(ii) a decision confirmed or given under section 36P(4) ,

(iii) a decision referred to in section 78(1) as that section is construed in accordance with section 56B ,

(iv) section 81(3) as that section is construed in accordance with section 56B , or

(v) a decision confirmed or given under section 83(3) as that section is construed in accordance with section 56B ,

or

( c ) in relation to a registered medical practitioner, means any conditions attached to the registration of the practitioner pursuant to—

(i) section 53(3) or (7) ,

(ii) a decision confirmed or given under section 54(4) ,

(iii) a decision referred to in section 78(1) ,

(iv) section 81(3) , or

(v) a decision confirmed or given under section 83(3) ; ]

“relevant Internet website” means an Internet website of the Council (including part of such a website)—

( a) to which access is readily available by members of the public, and

( b) where anything published on the website is readily available for inspection by members of the public;

F10 [ relevant medical disability , in relation to a person, means a physical or mental disability of the person (including addiction to alcohol or drugs) which may impair the person’s ability to practise medicine or a particular aspect thereof; ]

F8 [ relevant person has the meaning assigned to it by section 36K ; ]

F8 [ relevant profession means any of the following professions:

( a ) dentist;

( b ) a designated profession within the meaning of section 3 of the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 ;

( c ) medical practitioner;

( d ) midwife;

( e ) nurse;

( f ) pharmacist; ]

“remove”, in relation to the registration of a medical practitioner, means to delete the practitioner’s name from the register pursuant to section 52(2) or (6), 55(1) or 79(1) ;

“restore”, in relation to the registration of a medical practitioner, means to re-enter the practitioner’s name in the register pursuant to section 52(5) , 80 or 81(2) or a decision confirmed or given under section 54(4) or 83(3) ;

F8 [ restriction includes a condition; ]

“committee” means a committee established under section 20(2)(a) or (b);

“Specialist Division” means that division of the register referred to in section 43(2)(b) ;

F8 [ specialist qualification shall be construed in accordance with section 44C ; ]

“statement of strategy” means a statement of strategy prepared pursuant to section 13(1) ;

F6 [ Supervised Division means that division of the register referred to in section 43(2)(e) ; ]

“third country” means a state other than the State or a Member State;

“Trainee Specialist Division” means that division of the register referred to in section 43(2)(c) ;

“unregistered medical practitioner” means a medical practitioner who is not registered;

“visiting EEA practitioner” means a medical practitioner who falls within section 50(1) ;

“Visiting EEA Practitioners Division” means that division of the register referred to in section 43(2)(d) .

F11 [ (2) Unless otherwise specified in this Act, nothing in this Act shall be construed to prejudice the performance by the Council of its functions under the Regulations of 2017 as the competent authority in respect of the regulated professions (within the meaning of Regulation 3 of those Regulations) concerned. ]

Editorial Notes:

E7

Previous affecting provision: definition of ‘Directive 2005/36/EC’ substituted (13.01.2014) by European Union (Recognition of Professional Qualifications relating to the Professions of Dentist, Medical Practitioner, Nurse and Midwife) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 7 of 2014), reg. 3; substituted as per F-note above.

E8

Previous affecting provision: definition of “Directive 2005/36/EC” substituted (26.09.2008) by European Communities (Directive 2006/100/EC) (Recognition of Bulgarian and Romanian Medical Qualifications) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 393 of 2008), reg. 3, commenced as per reg. 1(2); subsequently further substituted as per F-note above.

E9

Previous affecting provision: definiton of “registered” substituted (21.12.2007) by Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007 (42/2007), s.11(a), commenced on enactment; subsequently further substituted as per F note above.

E10

Previous affecting provision: definiton of “registered medical practitioner” substituted (21.12.2007) by Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007 (42/2007), s.11(b); subsequently further substituted as per F note above.