Sinn Féin call for role of health watchdog to be expanded

The role of the health services watchdog, HIQA, should be expanded to include Direct Provision and emergency accommodation, according to Sinn Féin.

A proposed Sinn Féin bill would extend the role of HIQA to include any emergency housing facility run by the State or councils.

Its Housing spokesman, Eoin Ó Broin, has said current inspections are not independent enough.

He has also said anyone in their right mind would support a truly independent regime of inspections.

"The issue is, do you create a brand new body with all of the additional costs and time that would take or do you take a body that has a good track record of doing independent inspections and expand its remit," he questioned.

"I think on the balance of assesment expanding HIQA's remit is the better of the two options."

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