Major milestones reached in healthcare regulation

31 March 2021

Two major milestones in the regulation of Irish healthcare have been reached today with the opening of a statutory register for podiatrists and ‘medical scientist’ becoming a legally protected title. These developments mean that CORU, Ireland’s multi profession health regulator, now regulates the work of over 20,000 people in Ireland across 12 professions.

CORU was established in 2005 with the mission to protect the public by promoting high standards of health and social care through a process known as statutory registration. This legally requires people working in a CORU designated profession in Ireland to register with CORU. To do so they must demonstrate they have the required education, undergo the Garda vetting process and agree to comply with a Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics. CORU has previously introduced regulation to a wide range of professions including physiotherapists, dispensing opticians and social workers. *

As of the 31 March 2021regulations come into place for podiatrists with the opening of the Podiatrists Register. A transition period of two years exists for those already working in the profession in Ireland, while new entrants must register with CORU before commencing work.

Meanwhile the two-year transition period for medical scientists concludes today. Anyone working in Ireland with that title must have applied to CORU to continue working. To date over 2,500 have applied to the Medical Scientists Registration Board for Registration.

Speaking about the developments Ginny Hanrahan, CEO of CORU said, “This is a positive day for patient safety in Ireland. Both of these milestones provides reassurance to the patients and service users of these professions about the quality and consistency of the care they can expect to receive. It is also a red letter day for each profession, demonstrating the commitment of practitioners of each to the consistent delivery of the highest standards of care.

“In Ireland we have some of the finest health care professionals in the world. They have demonstrated this with their dedication and commitment throughout the pandemic. However, public protection requires independent and robust regulation. CORU will deliver this for each profession and if there is ever a lapse in appropriate care we will take effective action.”

ENDS

Notes to the editor:

* CORU currently regulates the following professions: Dietitians, Dispensing Opticians, Medical Scientists, Occupational Therapists, Optometrists, Podiatrists, Physical Therapists, Physiotherapists, Radiographers, Radiation Therapists, Social Workers and Speech and Language Therapists.