Tuesday, 17 May 1994
Dáil Éireann Debate
90. Mr. J. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health if Irish-registered psychiatric nurses have their qualifications recognised in only three of the twelve European Union countries; the steps, if any, being taken to have these qualifications recognised and accepted in all European countries; when these steps are likely to be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Health (Mr. Howlin): The recognition of the qualifications of Irish registered psychiatric nurses in other European Union member states is a matter for the competent nursing authority in each of those member states. As the Deputy will be aware, I have recently taken steps to increase the theoretical instruction component of psychiatric nurse training to bring it into line with that required in general nurse training under the terms of Directive 89/595/EEC which concerns the mutual recognition of qualifications in that discipline. On foot of this development I can see no reason why Irish registered psychiatric nurses would not have their qualifications recognised and accepted in all EU countries. From inquiries made by my Department to An Bord Altranais, I understand that this is in fact the position.
Directive 89/48/EEC introduced a general system for the mutual recognition of qualifications for all regulated professions which require a minimum of three years higher education and training and which are not already covered by sectoral directives. Steps have been taken to have psychiatric nursing qualifications brought under the scope of this directive. This is being done by way of amendment of the relevant implementing Statutory Instrument which is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Education.
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