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1,800 GPs sign up for chronic disease management, but pandemic slows progress

Approximately 1,800 GPs have signed up for the chronic disease management (CDM) programme however the current pandemic is slowing implementation, this newspaper has been told.

“The CDM agreement is in place,” Mr Val Moran IMO Director of Industrial Relations, General Practice, Public and Community Health told the Medical Independent (MI) on 27 May.

“But we are working with the HSE for a roll-out that takes into account the Covid-19 situation.”

Mr Moran said the current pandemic “has obviously slowed the implementation of the CDM programme”.

Mr Moran told this newspaper that approximately, 1,800 GPs have signed up the programme. The programme is not compulsory and it is up to individual GPs whether they want to sign-up.

Last year an agreement reached between the IMO and the Department of Health included the introduction of chronic disease management for three named diseases — chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The phased introduction of the CDM was due to start early this year, and by 2024, over 400,000 GMS/Doctor visit card patients were meant to be part of the chronic disease programme or a high-risk evaluation scheme.

“What has happened in the past is that GPs would look after patients with these conditions in an ad-hoc sort of way; there was no real structure to it,” Longford GP and IMO President Dr Padraig McGarry told MI last August.

“But we have formulated here a more structured approach to it, specific clinical and laboratory assessment made, advice given to patients at the end of each visit. There would [also] be a data return whereby the HSE would receive information about it.”

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