Thursday 14 November 2019

Funding in Budget to tackle GP crisis

GP leader in the IMO Dr Padraig McGarry. Picture: Collins
GP leader in the IMO Dr Padraig McGarry. Picture: Collins
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Talks on the GP crisis, which has forced several doctors to no longer accept new patients, are to resume next week after Health Minister Simon Harris announces a multi-million euro investment package for general practice in the Budget.

The package will involve funds to start restoring cuts in fees paid to GPs for services to medical-card holders during the recession. It will include room for financial incentives to broaden their services to more patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In an internal memo yesterday Dr Padraig McGarry, GP leader in the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), said the union will meet with health officials on Wednesday.

"The position of the IMO is that the new set of negotiations must be meaningful, address the core issues that have arisen as a direct result of cuts and have adequate resources committed to any new initiatives," he said.

The talks previously stalled over funding.

The GPs will demand a restoration of austerity fee cuts and new funding for additional services.

A new contract for GPs would attract more doctors to stay in this country and reduce workload. This would benefit patients and reduce the need for doctors to turn away new patients.

Irish Independent

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