Medical Practitioners Act 2007

57.

Complaints concerning registered medical practitioners.

57.— (1) A person (including the Council) may make a complaint to the Preliminary Proceedings Committee concerning a registered medical practitioner on one or more than one of the grounds of—

( a) professional misconduct,

( b) poor professional performance,

( c) a relevant medical disability,

( d) a failure to comply with a relevant condition,

( e) a failure to comply with an undertaking or to take any action specified in a consent given in response to a request under section 67(1) ,

( f) a contravention of a provision of this Act (including a provision of any regulations or rules made under this Act), or

F117 [ ( fa ) a failure to comply with regulations made under section 13 (2) of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, ]

( g) a conviction in the State for an offence triable on indictment 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.

(2) A complaint may be made on the grounds of professional misconduct or poor professional performance notwithstanding that the matter to which the complaint relates occurred outside the State.

(3) The Preliminary Proceedings Committee shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that—

( a) the complainant is kept informed of all decisions made under this Part and, if applicable, Parts 8 and 9 by the Committee, any other committee, or the Council, in relation to the complaint concerned,

( b) the Committee acts expeditiously, and

( c) complaints are processed in a timely manner.

(4) The Preliminary Proceedings Committee may use the services of a person appointed under section 58 in relation to the investigation of a complaint.

(5) Where a complaint falls within subsection (1)(g), the Preliminary Proceedings Committee shall immediately refer the complaint to the Council.

(6) The Council shall consider a complaint referred to it under subsection (5) and—

( a) if it is of the opinion that—

(i) the nature of the offence that is the subject of the complaint or the circumstances in which the offence was committed render the practitioner permanently unfit to continue to practise medicine, and

(ii) it is in the public interest that it take action immediately under this paragraph,

the Council shall decide under section 71 to impose on the practitioner the sanction referred to in section 71 (f) as if the complaint were a report referred to in section 69 (1) of the Fitness to Practise Committee in relation to the complaint, and the other provisions of Part 9 (except section 72 (2) ) shall apply to that decision accordingly,

( b) in any other case, shall refer the complaint back to the Preliminary Proceedings Committee and direct the Committee to deal with the complaint as if the complaint had never been so referred.

(7) Nothing in subsection (6) shall be construed to—

( a) prejudice the generality of section 60 , or

( b) limit the range of the sanctions which the Council may decide to impose under section 71 on a registered medical practitioner in any case where the Council has taken the action referred to in subsection (6)(b).

(8) The Preliminary Proceedings Committee shall refuse to consider or further consider a complaint in respect of a matter which occurred before F118 [ the repeal of section 45 of the Act of 1978 if the matter was the subject of an application under that section ].

(9) A complaint is a protected disclosure under the Health Act 2004 (as amended by the Health Act 2007).

Annotations

Amendments:

F117

Inserted (24.06.2013) by Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013 (14/2013), s. 34, S.I. No. 202 of 2013.

F118

Substituted (21.12.2007) by Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007 (42/2007), s. 20 and sch. 2, commenced on enactment.

F119

Substituted by Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Act 2020 (16/2020), s. 109(a)(i), (ii), (c), (f), (g), and (h), not commenced as of date of revision.

F120

Inserted by Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Act 2020 (16/2020), s. 109(a)(iii), (b), (d), and (i), not commenced as of date of revision.

F121

Deleted by Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Act 2020 (16/2020), s. 109(e), not commenced as of date of revision.

F122

Substituted by Health Identifiers Act 2014 (15/2014), s. 38(a), not commenced as of date of revision.

F123

Inserted by Health Identifiers Act 2014 (15/2014), s. 38(b), not commenced as of date of revision.

Modifications (not altering text):

C50

Prospective affecting provision: subss. (1), (3), (5), (6) and (8) amended, subss. (1)(ea), (2A)-(2D), (3A) and (8A) inserted and subs. (4) deleted by Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Act 2020 (16/2020), s. 109, not commenced as of date of revision.

57.— (1) A person (including the Council) may make a complaint to the F119 [ chief executive officer ] concerning a registered medical practitioner on one or more than one of the grounds of—

...

( e) a failure to comply with an undertaking or to take any action specified in a consent given in response to a request under F119 [ section 59A(1) or 67(1) ] ,

F120 [ ( ea ) the imposition on the practitioner of—

(i) a prohibition against him or her providing one or more than one kind of health or social care in the State or another jurisdiction, or

(ii) a restriction on his or her ability to provide one or more than one kind of health or social care in the State or another jurisdiction, ]

(2) A complaint may be made on the grounds of professional misconduct or poor professional performance notwithstanding that the matter to which the complaint relates occurred outside the State.

F120 [ (2A) ( a ) The chief executive officer may, in relation to a complaint heard, being heard or to be heard by the Fitness to Practise Committee, whenever he or she considers it necessary to do so, request in writing the Garda Síochána to give to him or her information concerning the criminal record of the medical practitioner the subject of the complaint that the Committee may reasonably require for the performance of its functions.

( b ) The Garda Síochána shall, subject to section 55 of the Data Protection Act 2018 , comply with a request under paragraph (a) as soon as is practicable after receiving the request.

( c ) The chief executive officer may, whenever he or she considers it necessary to do so, request in writing that the registrar or clerk of a court which has convicted a medical practitioner of an offence in the State to give to him or her a certificate of conviction (or, in the case of the District Court, a certified copy of the order concerned made by the Court), or a certified copy of the judgment, or both, in respect of the offence that the chief executive officer or Council (including any committee thereof), or both, may reasonably require for the performance of his or her or its functions under this Act in relation to that medical practitioner.

( d ) The registrar or clerk of the court concerned the subject of a request under paragraph (c) shall comply with the request as soon as is practicable after receiving the request.

( e ) In this subsection, ‘criminal record’, in relation to a medical practitioner, means a record of the previous convictions (other than spent convictions within the meaning of section 5 of the Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions and Certain Disclosures) Act 2016 ) of the practitioner for offences (if any).

(2B) Subject to subsection (2C) , where the chief executive officer receives a complaint, he or she shall comply with section 58A in respect of the complaint unless—

( a) he or she is satisfied that the complaint is not made in good faith, or

( b ) he or she is satisfied that the complaint is frivolous or vexatious.

(2C) Subsection (2B) shall not apply to a complaint where the Council is the complainant.

(2D) Where the chief executive officer decides that a complaint falls within subsection (2B)(a) or (b) , he or she shall give notice in writing to the complainant (and, if the chief executive officer is of the opinion that it is in the interests of the complainant, or the registered medical practitioner to whom the complaint relates, or of both, to do so, to such practitioner) of the decision and the reasons for the decision. ]

(3) The F119 [ chief executive officer ] shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that—

( a) the complainant is kept informed of all decisions made under this Part and, if applicable, Parts 8 and 9 by F119 [ the chief executive officer, the Preliminary Proceedings Committee ], any other committee, or the Council, in relation to the complaint concerned,

F119 [ ( b ) the authorised officers act expeditiously, and ]

...

F120 [ (3A) The chief executive officer may, in relation to the complaint concerned, inform, in addition to the complainant, other parties to the proceedings under this Act concerning the complaint, of the decisions referred to in subsection (3)(a) . ]

(4) F121 [ ]

(5) Where a complaint falls within subsection (1)(g), the F119 [ chief executive officer ] shall immediately refer the complaint to the Council.

(6) The Council shall consider a complaint referred to it under subsection (5) and—

( a) if it is of the opinion that—

(i) the nature of the offence that is the subject of the complaint or the circumstances in which the offence was committed render the practitioner F119 [ a person who has permanently ceased to be a fit and proper person to continue to practise medicine ], and

(ii) it is in the public interest that it take action immediately under this paragraph,

the Council shall decide under section 71 to impose on the practitioner the sanction referred to in F119 [ section 71(1)(f) ] as if the complaint were a report referred to in section 69(1) of the Fitness to Practise Committee in relation to the complaint, and the other provisions of Part 9 (except section 72 (2) ) shall apply to that decision accordingly,

( b) in any other case, shall refer the complaint back to the F119 [ chief executive officer and direct that officer ] to deal with the complaint as if the complaint had never been so referred.

...

(8) The F119 [ chief executive officer ] shall refuse to consider or further consider a complaint in respect of a matter which occurred before F118 [ the repeal of section 45 of the Act of 1978 if the matter was the subject of an application under that section ].

F120 [ (8A) A complaint made before the commencement of section 109 of the Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Act 2020 which has not been disposed of or otherwise dealt with under this Act before that commencement shall be disposed of or otherwise dealt with under this Act as this Act was in force immediately before that commencement. ]

...

C51

Prospective affecting provision: subs. (1) amended and subs. (1A) inserted by Health Identifiers Act 2014 (15/2014), s. 38, not commenced as of date of revision.

57.— (1) F122 [ Subject to subsection (1A) , a person ] (including the Council) may make a complaint to the Preliminary Proceedings Committee concerning a registered medical practitioner on one or more than one of the grounds of—

( a) professional misconduct,

( b) poor professional performance,

( c) a relevant medical disability,

( d) a failure to comply with a relevant condition,

( e) a failure to comply with an undertaking or to take any action specified in a consent given in response to a request under section 67(1) ,

( f) a contravention of a provision of this Act (including a provision of any regulations or rules made under this Act), or

F122 [ ( fa ) a failure to comply with

(i) regulations made under section 13 (2) of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013 , or

(ii) a provision of the Health Identifiers Act 2014 applicable to the practitioner in his or her capacity (if any) as a health services provider within the meaning of section 2 of that Act. ]

( g) a conviction in the State for an offence triable on indictment 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.

F123 [ (1A) A complaint shall not be made by a person other than the Minister if the ground concerned is a registered medical practitioner s failure to comply with a provision referred to in subsection (1)(fa)(ii) . ]

...