Update on the x-ray referral rights:
The Chiropractic Association of Ireland (CAI) presented to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health on Wednesday 25th April. The video recording of the meeting is available online, the CAI section starts near the third hour (2 hr 54 min mark):
Click the link below to watch the 25 Apr 2018 video:
Houses of the Oireachtas – Videos – Committee on Health – Wed, 25 Apr 2018
At this 25th April 2018 meeting, the Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Tony Holohan, states when asked about Chiropractic: “[…] I have, speaking personally and speaking honestly, very little knowledge or understanding. I went through medical school and medical training and all of that, never in any of the time that I spent in that did I receive any tuition, knowledge, guidance, on the nature of chiropractie or what it is or what it does and I’m not saying it’s a good thing or a bad thing, it’s simply a statement of fact to support the fact that I have very little understanding myself of what chiropractie is […].”
This is an important statement, as if you’ve followed past discussions in the Dáil Éireann Debate on this matter, on Wednesday, 31st January 2018, the Taoiseach stated: “The proposed designation of the relevant professionals is based on patient safety and public health considerations and follows on from the advice of the Chief Medical Officer.”
Another very important update from the meeting is that it appears that the current practice is expected to continue; where under article 14.4 of SI 478 that Chiropractors can refer to a private diagnostic centre, the radiologist will review the referral, if they agree to honour it then they become the referrer. However, we are still working towards at minimum being included in the new legislation to include this practice; and ideally to have Chiropractors included in the bill as practitioner and referrer (as is the case in the United Kingdom including Northern Ireland, Canada, the United States and all other English speaking developed countries that we are aware of).
Following the meeting, the Joint Oireachtas Committee get together and decide if they are going to send a recommendation to the government; and then it is up to the government as to whether they will heed the comments of the committee.
We want to take this opportunity to thank all our patients, their friends and families, our team, the CAI, the TDs, and members of the public who have taken the time to root for our profession, this cause and our collective freedom of access to healthcare in Ireland.