Wednesday 26 June 2019

GPs threaten to campaign in surgeries against FG

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Kevin Doyle and Philip Ryan

Hundreds of family doctors have threatened to use their surgeries to campaign against Fine Gael election candidates.

The unprecedented move would see GPs lobby their patients to vote against the Government party. The threat is made in a letter to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's TDs, which demands a meeting by Friday for representatives of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGPs).

It says NAGP members will begin "informing their patients personally about the health policies of Fine Gael TDs and councillors in the upcoming local and general elections, and the detrimental effect that these policies are having on patient services in the community".

The dispute centres of the NAGPs exclusion from talks with the Government on a new deal for GPs. The Irish Medical Organisation is in discussions about reversing cuts to GP fees during the economic crash - but the NAGP, which claims to have 2,100 members, is not recognised by the Department of Health or the HSE.

The correspondence, signed by chief executive Chris Goodey, warns Fine Gael chiefs of action unless they agree to meet "by the end of this week".

A spokesperson for Fine Gael said last night it had "no comment" to make in relation to the demands.

Irish Independent

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