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The Medical Independent has learned that the risk was added to the register in July 2016 and still remains a major risk for the HSE, according to the Executive’s assessment tool risk matrix.
GPs have been calling for a new contract for decades and health officials agree on the need for change, but it has never before been stated by the HSE that the absence of a new contract constituted a risk to health service delivery.
The risk register and an actions log linked to the register, last updated in November 2017, state there is a “risk to service delivery due to existing contracts with primary care contracted providers, which need to be modernised to reflect required standards in general practice”.
The risk register was released via Freedom of Information legislation and details approximately 20 risks within the primary care division.
The revelation comes as the first meeting in months on GP contract issues was held recently, with IMO representatives and officials from the Department of Health and HSE present.
GPs are eager for an update on the current status of talks, given the fact that over a month ago a promise was made by Minister for Health Simon Harris that contract talks would resume within a month.
“The IMO met with the Department of Health and the HSE on Wednesday 10 May to recommence discussions on GP contract issues. While the IMO is committed to the development of new services within general practice, where those services are adequately resourced, the restoration of FEMPI is critical to the sustainability of existing services and is a priority for the organisation and its GP members,” a spokesperson for the IMO explained.
The HSE had not issued a response at the time of going to press.
The risk register highlights that there is a risk to “health outcomes for patients due to the capacity deficits to deliver services in a manner that is integrated and focuses on managing the patient care life cycle”.
There is also a risk to patient safety due to inconsistent compliance with incident management policy, the register reveals.