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19 JUNE 2007

20 June 2007
PN: HSSPS 05/07

The Health Committee is inviting written comments on the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill. The Bill was introduced in the Assembly on 5 June 2007 and received its Second Reading on 19 June 2007. The Bill has now been referred to the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety for Committee Stage.

The Bill contains three main provisions. These relate to patient safety issues and the regulatory powers of Health and Social Services Boards and the Health Service Tribunal; changes to the way dental services are organised by allowing Health and Social Services Boards to provide services through contracts with individual practices or to directly employ dentists to provide services; it also contains an amendment to the Smoking ( Northern Ireland) Order 2006 to permit smoking by those taking part in performances if artistic integrity so requires although the Minister has indicated that he will withdraw this provision. The Bill also contains a provision to allow exemption from health service charges for overseas visitors on exceptional humanitarian grounds.

A copy of the Bill and the associated Explanatory and Financial Memorandum are available on the Assembly website.

Individuals and organisations are invited to submit written comments on the specific provisions of the Bill by 5.00 pm on Wednesday 18 July 2007. Responses should be sent to the Clerk at the address below or by e-mail to

Committee Membership:

Mrs Iris Robinson MP (DUP) (Chairperson); Ms Michelle O’Neill (SF) (Deputy Chairperson); Mr Thomas Buchanan (DUP); Rev Dr Robert Coulter (UUP); Dr Kieran Deeny (IHC); Mr Alex Easton (DUP); Mr Tommy Gallagher (SDLP); Mrs Carmel Hanna (SDLP); Mr John McCallister (UUP); Ms Carál Ní Chuilín (SF); Ms Sue Ramsey (SF)

The Clerk to the Committee is Mr Hugh Farren, Room 412, Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast BT4 3XX.
Tel No: 028 90521360 Fax No: 028 90521667

Northern Ireland Assembly Information Office, Room B2, Parliament Buildings, Belfast BT4 3XX.
Tel No: 02890-521137/521396. Fax: 02890 521961.
Website Address –