Tuesday 17 October 2017

Ruairi Hanley: Cutting state fees to GPs is breathtakingly stupid

Job of a doctor is to to treat ill people, not to act as a referee or facilitator for the social welfare system.
Job of a doctor is to to treat ill people, not to act as a referee or facilitator for the social welfare system.

THE announcement from the Department of Health that fees to GPs are to be cut by a further 7.5pc will potentially have a devastating impact on patient care in this country. The decision also represents the final nail in the coffin for the long-promised "free GP care for all", which we can now safely assume will never happen.

In order to understand how breathtakingly stupid this cutback is, it is necessary to look at the broader context. General practitioners are the first point of contact for most people with the health system. If patients cannot see a GP they are far more likely to end up on a trolley or an outpatient waiting list.

GPs can only provide a certain level of financially viable and safe service on any given day. Without sufficient resources, it can be impossible to meet the sheer level of patient demand.

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