The Government has given its approval to draft the Heads of a Bill to allow HIQA to set standards, monitor healthcare and investigate incidents in the private healthcare sector, in addition to its current role to monitor the public sector.
This would include private hospitals and certain cosmetic surgery procedures.
“There is a very strong case to be made to extend HIQA’s powers into the private sector, allowing it to set and monitor standards, and to undertake investigations where necessary,” said Minister for Health Leo Varadkar.
“My Department will now draft the Heads of a Bill for Cabinet approval to amend the Health Act 2007 and extend HIQA’s powers.
“This will help to alleviate public concerns about the safety and quality of some services which are provided in the private sector or independently of the public health service, such as certain cosmetic surgery procedures.
“Extending HIQA’s powers is a logical step on the way to a full licensing system for public and private hospitals, so the new legislation will be implemented in advance of the Patient Safety Licensing Bill.
“HIQA will also gain an oversight role for research ethics committees for clinical trials involving medicines and medical devices.”