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Debates and questions

Health and Sport Committee 12 November 2019

The agenda for the day:

Subordinate Legislation.

Subordinate Legislation

Subordinate Legislation
National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Scotland) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SSI 2019/333)

The Convener (Lewis Macdonald)

Good morning and welcome to the 26th meeting in 2019 of the Health and Sport Committee. We have received apologies from Sandra White and Alex Cole-Hamilton. Bob Doris is attending as a substitute member of the committee.

In the public part of the meeting, we have three items of subordinate legislation to consider. The first instrument, which is subject to negative procedure, is the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Scotland) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

The instrument is necessary, as a consequence of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, to ensure that the existing 1989 regulations on charges to overseas visitors remain operable and capture changes to reciprocal healthcare arrangements, on the UK leaving the EU.

The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee considered the instrument this morning and has no comments to make on the instrument.

I invite members’ comments.

David Stewart (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)

I think that the regulations are straightforward and consistent. I suggest that we agree to take the instrument to the next stage.

The Convener

Excellent. Thank you very much. Does the committee agree to make no recommendation on the instrument?

Members indicated agreement.

Public Health Scotland Order 2019 (SSI 2019/336)

The Convener

The second negative instrument relates to the informal briefing that members received earlier this morning on the new special health board, public health Scotland. The order specifies the functions that are to be undertaken by the new board.

The instrument will also dissolve NHS Health Scotland and make a number of consequential amendments to account for the transfer of functions and activities to public health Scotland from NHS Health Scotland and NHS National Services Scotland.

The DPLR Committee has considered the instrument and has made no comments that require our attention. Do members have any comments?

Miles Briggs (Lothian) (Con)

I will be brief. We had a briefing in private this morning. It is important that we are told the priorities of the new organisation in relation to the organisations that it will pull together, and that we get a commitment that the functions that those organisations currently carry out will continue and will not be lessened. I highlighted concerns about the functions of the Information Services Division at the private briefing. Those points are important to consider as the new organisation moves to take those powers and responsibilities.

The Convener

I agree. There is no reason why we should not agree to write to the chair of public health Scotland to lay out some of the questions that we discussed informally earlier, in order to get them on the public record—in particular, questions about the nature of the reorganisation of existing special health boards, the future integrity of ISD functions and the strategic priorities of the new body. However, those questions do not affect directly the question whether to agree to the order.

Emma Harper (South Scotland) (SNP)

I look forward to hearing from public health Scotland officially in the future, because it looks as though its remit could grow and evolve, given our discussions around antibiotics resistance and how to manage blood-borne diseases, as well as matters connected with Food Standards Scotland. I think that the remit could be quite interesting as it develops, so I look forward to seeing what happens.

The Convener

Excellent. Thank you very much. Does the committee agree to make no recommendations on the instrument?

Members indicated agreement.

Scottish Dental Practice Board Amendment Regulations 2019 (SSI 2019/346)

The Convener

The third negative instrument will amend the existing 1997 regulations to make new provision in relation to membership of the Scottish Dental Practice Board by changing the constitution of the board and making changes to current membership requirements.

No motion to annul the instrument has been lodged, and the DPLR Committee has no comments that it wishes to draw to our attention. Members have no comments on the instrument, so does the committee agree to make no recommendations on it?

Members indicated agreement.

The Convener

Thank you very much. I remind members that our meeting next week includes a discussion with participants in the primary care public panel sessions. I know that members took a keen interest in those public panel sessions and are looking forward to the round-table discussion next week.

Meeting closed at 11:20.