Saturday 21 July 2018

Talks with GPs hit roadblock - posing an early headache for Sláintecare chief

Laura Magahy
Laura Magahy
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Talks on a new contract with GPs, which is key to transforming the way the health service delivers care, appear to have hit another roadblock.

No face-to-face meetings between the Irish Medical Organisation and health officials have taken place since early May.

The revelation was made in a parliamentary response to Independent Clare TD and GP, Dr Michael Harty.

He was told the department later wrote to the doctors' union setting out its proposals formally but it has yet to get a response.

Dr Harty said: "Huge disappointment at the lack of progress on saving general practice from irreparable damage.

"It's too late for many and gives no hope to graduates."

He was speaking after the appointment of Laura Magahy (inset) as the €155,435 head of the new office to drive the Sláintecare report, the blueprint for the future of the health service. It aims to switch more care to the community, extending the role of GPs. The plan has been estimated at €2.86bn over 10 years but many experts believe, if implemented, it will cost much more.

The Department of Health said Ms Magahy had resigned her position as managing director of her firm M.CO with effect from September 1 next and "will not be returning". "She will have no future beneficial involvement in the company. She is relinquishing all control over the future business of the M.CO from the date of her appointment. This had already been agreed with the department before she accepted the role," said the department.

Irish Independent

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