Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
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Prescription charges to fall from January 1

Further moves due to reduce drug costs, following signing of statutory instrument to cut prescription charges from New Year's Day

The Minister for Health,  Simon Harris, has signed a statutory instrument that will mean a reduction in prescription charges from January 1. "Reducing the cost of medicines for families is a commitment in the Programme for Government and this year the prescription charge was reduced for over 70s. "In line with the Slaintecare recommendations - and subject to available resources - it is my intention to build upon these initiatives in future years and continue to reduce the cost of medicines for families," said Minister Harris.  

It was announced in Budget 2018 that the charge will reduce from €2.50 to €2 per item and there will be a reduction in the monthly cap from €25 to €20. Minister Harris said “This means that from the start of the New Year all medical card holders will only pay €2 per item, with a maximum cost of €20 a month. Nearly 500,000 Medical Card holders under the age of 70 will save up to €60 in 2018 from the reduction in the prescription charge.

 

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Timeframe for statutory registration

 

Draft regulations to designate the professions of Counsellors and Psychotherapists and to establish a registration board will be ready for submission to the Houses of the Oireachtas for their approval during the present session, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has told the Dail.

 

The Minister recently concluded a public consultation on  his proposal to regulate counsellors generally under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005.

 

On foot of the consultation process, He has decided to proceed with the designation of two distinct professions under the Act, that of counsellor and psychotherapist. Each will have its own register under one registration board. This decision has been communicated to the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, the relevant professional bodies and all the respondents to the public consultation process.

 

Subject to the approval of the Houses, the next step will be the appointment of the 13 members of the registration board, following the submission of suitable candidates for the Minister's consideration, by the Public Appointments Service. The aim is that the registration board will be in a position early in the New Year to begin the task of drafting the various bye-laws to allow it to establish its registers.

 

 


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