CORU Registrants expected to rise to 25,000 by 2021
The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, T.D., today (Thursday 26 January) launched CORU’s Five Year Statement of Strategy 2017 – 2021. CORU is the Regulator for Ireland’s designated Health and Social Care Professions and currently regulates over 9,000 professionals. This is expected to grow to over 25,000 professionals over the next five years when all 15 designated professions are regulated.
Speaking at today’s launch Minister Harris said; “My Department is strongly committed to patient safety through the provision of robust, independent, statutory regulation. I will continue to develop regulatory policy and legislation to ensure a comprehensive system of regulation for health and social care professions so that all patients can have confidence in the quality of care they receive. CORU is playing an important role in protecting the public by setting up and maintaining new regulatory machinery for the State’s health and social care professions, and this work is greatly valued."
Professor Bernard McCartan, Chair of the Health and Social Care Professionals Council said; “The level of accountability and transparency demanded of healthcare professionals by service users and the public has increased significantly in the years since CORU’s establishment. Health and Social Care Professionals are increasingly challenged in relation to their integrity and actions, whether by a service user, a member of the public or by a fellow professional. As a consequence, the demand for Independent Regulation – whether from the public or from the professions themselves, continues to increase.
“The Statement of Strategy published today will ensure that CORU continues to build a model of regulation that effectively delivers our remit to protect the public. It ensures that we remain fit for purpose as Ireland’s only multi-profession regulator and that we deliver in a sustainable and cost effective way for all our stakeholders”.
Over the next five years CORU anticipates that the complexity of its Registers will increase, reflecting both the increase in registrants and increased labour mobility resulting in more applications to CORU from professionals with international qualifications. It also expects the number of Fitness to Practise Hearings to increase in line with the increase in professionals being regulated.
Commenting further on the demand for more professions to be regulated, Professor McCartan said it is important that any assessment of the need for professional regulation must be based on the level of risk posed to the public. “It should not be assumed that every profession needs to be, or indeed should be, statutorily regulated and this is something that both the professions and the public need to understand and to accept in order for regulation to be effective and sustainable”, he said.
Professor McCartan welcomed the consultation conducted by the Department of Health in relation to the possibility of regulating Counsellors and Psychotherapists under CORU’s remit. “The gathering of views from a wide range of stakeholders is important as the Minister considers this matter and we look forward to the Minister’s decision once he has had an opportunity to review the consultation documents received”, he said.
Professor McCartan said that in meeting the challenges of managing the expected growth in CORU and in order to provide a sustainable model of regulation, it is likely that the Regulator will be reviewing how it delivers its work, looking to streamline its processes, while delivering the standards required.
“The Statement of Strategy is the blueprint for our organisation as we develop over the next five years. It will inform our programme of work to provide enhanced protection to the public and an effective regulation regime for the designated professions over the next five years”.
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