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Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 2008

Background and Policy Objectives

3.In these notes:-

“the 1972 Order” means the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972.

4.The Act replicates measures, as far as possible, which have been introduced in Scotland by means of the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 and in England and Wales through the Health and Social Care Act 2001 and the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003.

5.The Act introduces changes to the way dental services will be organised. Similar to arrangements which are now operating in England and Wales, it will allow Health and Social Services Boards to provide services either through contracts with individual practices or to directly employ dentists to provide dental services.

6.The Act also makes provisions to further strengthen the quality of primary care services and bring Northern Ireland into line with measures which are in place in England, Wales and Scotland. These measures apply to general medical practitioners, dentists, opticians and pharmacists and include a number of changes to the powers and duties of the Tribunal constituted under Schedule 11 to the 1972 Order and Health and Social Services Boards.

7.It repeals the power to make regulations as to the retirement age of general medical practitioners and dentists and makes provision, where health services are made available to persons not ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland, for charges to be made in respect of those services only in cases determined in accordance with regulations.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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