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Plastic surgery clinics to be regulated under new licensing plan

The new laws will give Hiqa more powers to investigate both public and private hospitals.

Image: Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov

PLASTIC SURGERY CLINICS will have to get a licence to operate under proposed legislation which comes into force by the end of next year.

Health Minister Simon Harris received Cabinet approval this week for a new Bill which will mean all hospitals, including cosmetic surgery clinics, must sign up to a licensing system by the end of 2018.

The new laws will give the Health Information Quality Authority (Hiqa) more powers to investigate both public and private hospitals.

The safety watchdog will be given powers to issue and cancel the licence of a hospital or clinic and also apply conditions to their operation.

An offence to operate without licence

The Patient Safety Licensing Bill will ensure the all hospitals maintain a standard of care, and it will be an offence for a hospital to operate without a licence.

Hiqa will monitor the performance of a hospital or clinic and will have the power to shut it down if it is in the public interest.

Currently, there are no controls over cosmetic surgery clinics in Ireland.

Organisations such as the Medical Council has been calling for the regulation of cosmetic surgery clinics in Ireland for many years.

As far back as 2013, the council said it only had the power to regulate individual doctors, but not clinics, and called for a regulatory body to take over.

Mmore confidenc

Health Minister Simon Harris said the new system should provide for a robust and accountable system which has the confidence of the public.

“The aim of this licensing legislation is to ensure that hospital providers in Ireland are operating to minimum core standards so that we can all have confidence in the safety, quality and effectiveness of the services that are being provided, whether in the public or the private sector,” he said.

After being signed off on by Cabinet, the Bill will go before the cross-party Oireachtas health committee and the Dáil and Seanad.

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