FICTA AGM 2018.
FICTA held its well attended AGM on 18th. February in the Crown Plaza Hotel. It was a wonderful, stimulating and, as usual, an informative meeting.
The Chairperson Frances Daly presented the results of the census which FICTA had carried out during 2017.
Some of the results were surprising, not least the finding that of the 17% male participants who selected one or more of the conditions, Migraine topped the list provided. When considered in the context of the study reported in The British Medical Journal that “Migraines linked to a range of heart problems” (Ref: Irish Examiner, Feb. 01 2018) this result has implications for men’s health and medical care. Of the 114 women who returned the census form, 18% selected heart conditions.
Clive Lucas, FICTA representative to EFCAM (www.efcam.eu) gave a detailed report on the regulation of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicines) in individual EU countries. He told the meeting that the President of EFCAM, Seamus Connolly has been in touch with Kate O’Connell T.D. asking for clarity on what she intends her proposed Bill to address? She has agreed to give EFCAM sight of the drafted Bill for comment before it is published.
AGM business finished by 1.10 pm. and after lunch an additional number of interested therapy providers were welcomed to the two important and relevant afternoons talks.
1. Child Protection Officer Leanne Macken, gave a ppt presentation on the “Children First Act” which commenced on 11th. December 2017 (https://www.dcya.gov.ie/). The Mandatory reporting obligation was of a great deal of concern to the audience. The possible conflict of interest between trust and confidentiality was repeatedly raised.
Leanne’s talk covered a wide range of issues which – “Taken together, the Children First Act, the Criminal Justice (Withholding of Information on Offenses Against Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 and the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012-2016, represent a significant legislative framework to promote the safety and protection of children.” (Source: https://www.dcya.gov.ie/):
FYI: Providers of Child care and/or support have to have a published “Child Safeguarding Statement”.
2. After a short break, FICTA’s General Secretary Alana Digan gave a talk on the EU “Data Protection Act” which will come into force on May 25th. this year. She explained that on hearing about it, she engaged in extensive research and reading to get to grips with how it would impact her own business. Her presentation was based on what she has learned, the main focus of which was what CAM therapists and their associations need to get busy with now to be prepared for the commencement of the Act in May.
While the work involved is not difficult, it could tedious and take a lot of time. That will depend on the number of clients details therapists have on file and how many members data their associations still have in their possession. Premission to retain will be required in line with “the right to be forgotten”.
All professional associations, FICTA included, and their individual members need to write up their own Data Protection Procedures and Policy Statement. While it is assumed that all therapists keep their clients/patient’s data under lock & key or in an otherwise code protected system, users of their services are entitled to see a written copy of their Data Protection procedures.
The General General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will also apply to websites selling products, courses etc. Contact details can be used only to contact people when there is a justifiable reason to do so in relation to a time limited business contract already agreed between parties.
(Posted 22 Feb. 2018)
Very few people realise that the practice of complementary therapies and traditional medicines (CAM) is not regulated in Ireland. In response to the cessation in 2007 of the regulation/registration process of CAM practitioners which was initiated by the Department of Health and Children in 2001, FICTA has developed a model for voluntary regulation which aims to harmonise the regulatory mechanisms and qualification standards within the CAM sector in Ireland.
The model sets out a framework of regulatory systems, structures and processes by which self-regulation can be carried out with a view to upholding public confidence and trust in the standard and quality of treatments provided by qualified therapists.
It aims to provide cost-effective regulation which is flexible enough to adapt to the needs of different therapies, respond to changes in national policy and is readily understood by CAM users. It includes a Code of Ethics and guidelines on professional conduct and the qualification standards expected of complementary therapists.
As a robust regulation system, it will ensure that there are requirements in place for:
- entry on to the professional therapist register,
- conditions for remaining on the register
- specified behaviours which could result in removal from the register.
Issues concerning the safe and correct use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) as a basis of consumer protection are no different in principle to those which underpin modern biomedical practice.
As with most European countries, the justification for regulating CAM practitioners is to protect the public from incompetent and unqualified practitioners. The safe and correct use of CAM is best assured by appropriate qualifications and regulation which has the basic political intention of giving the public freedom of choice.