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19 2004

Health (Amendment) Act 2004

PART 4

Other Provisions Relating to Health Boards, Eastern Regional Health Authority and Area Health Boards

Amendment of section 220 of the Local Government Act 2001 .

26. Section 220 of the Local Government Act 2001 is amended, in the definition in subsection (1) of “linked body”, by the deletion of the words “a health board established under the Health Act, 1970 , the Eastern Regional Health Authority, and Area Health Board established under the Health (Eastern Regional Health Authority) Act, 1999 ,”, and the said definition as so amended is set out in the Table to this section.

TABLE

“linked body” means a vocational education committee, a school attendance committee, a harbour board, a joint body and any other body—

(a) which is required by law to be composed wholly or partly of persons nominated, elected or appointed by a local authority or by 2 or more local authorities, or

(b) which is required by law to include one or more persons, who hold membership of such linked body by virtue of being Cathaoirleach or by holding any other office or position relating to membership of a local authority.

Termination of office.

27. —(1) Every person who, immediately before the commencement of this section, was a member of a health board shall cease to hold office as such member upon and from the date of the said commencement.

(2) Every person who, immediately before the commencement of this section, was a member of the Eastern Regional Health Authority shall cease to hold office as such member upon and from the date of the said commencement.

(3) Every person who, immediately before the commencement of this section, was a member of an Area Health Board shall cease to hold office as such member upon and from the date of the said commencement.

Provisions consequent upon section 27 .

28. —(1) Anything commenced and not completed before the commencement of Part 2 and section 27 by a health board may, on or after such commencement, be carried on or completed by the chief executive officer of that health board.

(2) Anything commenced and not completed before the commencement of Part 3 and section 27 by the Eastern Regional Health Authority may, on or after such commencement, be carried on or completed by the Regional Chief Executive.

(3) Anything commenced and not completed before the commencement of Part 3 and section 27 by an Area Health Board may, on or after such commencement, be carried on or completed by the chief executive officer of that Area Health Board.

Accountability to certain Committees of Houses of Oireachtas.

29. —(1) Subject to subsection (2), a chief executive officer shall, at the request in writing of a Committee, attend before it to give account for the general administration of the health body concerned.

(2) A chief executive officer shall not be required to give account before a Committee for any matter which is or has been or is likely to be the subject of proceedings before a court or tribunal in the State.

(3) Where a chief executive officer is of the opinion that a matter in respect of which he or she is requested to give an account before a Committee is a matter to which subsection (2) applies, he or she shall inform the Committee of that opinion and the reasons for the opinion and, unless the information is conveyed to the Committee at a time when the chief executive officer concerned is before it, the information shall be so conveyed in writing.

(4) Where a chief executive officer has informed a Committee of his or her opinion in accordance with subsection (3) and the Committee does not withdraw the request referred to in subsection (1) in so far as it relates to a matter the subject of that opinion—

(a) the chief executive officer concerned may, not later than 21 days after being informed by the Committee of its decision not to do so, apply to the High Court in a summary manner for determination of the question whether the matter is one to which subsection (2) applies, or

(b) the Chairperson of the Committee may, on behalf of the Committee, make such an application,

and the High Court shall determine that matter.

(5) Pending the determination of an application under subsection (4), the chief executive officer concerned shall not attend before the Committee to give account for the matter the subject of the application.

(6) If the High Court determines that the matter concerned is one to which subsection (2) applies, the Committee shall withdraw the request referred to in subsection (1), but if the High Court determines that subsection (2) does not apply, the chief executive officer concerned shall attend before the Committee to give account for the matter.

(7) In the performance of his or her duties under this section, a chief executive officer shall not question or express an opinion on the merits of any policy of the Government or a Minister of the Government or on the merits of the objectives of such a policy.

(8) In this section—

“chief executive officer” means—

(a) the chief executive officer of a health board,

(b) the Regional Chief Executive, or

(c) the area chief executive of an Area Health Board;

“Committee” means a committee appointed by either House of the Oireachtas or jointly by both Houses of the Oireachtas or a subcommittee of such a committee, other than—

(a) the Committee established under the Standing Orders of Dáil Éireann to examine and report to Dáil Éireann on the appropriation accounts and reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General, or

(b) the Committee on Members' Interests of Dáil Éireann or the Committee on Members' Interests of Seanad Éireann;

“health body” means—

(a) a health board,

(b) the Eastern Regional Health Authority, or

(c) an Area Health Board.