GPs 'need abortion training to be covered'
GPs providing medical abortions from January will need to have received "appropriate training" in order to be covered against a potential negligence claim.
The instruction, which comes from the two companies indemnifying doctors - Medisec and Medical Protection - will mean some doctors who have not yet been able to attend training will not be ready to deliver the service.
However, Dr Peter Boylan, clinical adviser on the preparation of the legislation, said yesterday he still expects a good geographic spread of GPs to be able to provide medical abortion from January.
The range of services in maternity hospitals remains uncertain and women seeking a termination after their unborn child is diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality are likely to have to go to Dublin, Cork, Limerick or Galway.
The National Maternity Hospital is the only hospital so far to confirm it will provide the service to women after a fatal foetal abnormality diagnosis.
GPs can provide unrestricted medical abortion up to nine weeks of pregnancy. Maternity hospitals must provide medical abortions between nine and 12 weeks of pregnancy.
GPs will want to know which maternity hospitals are participating and what service they are providing.
Medisec GPs must have the necessary training and be working within their competence.