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Dr Padraig McGarry, Chairman of the GP Committee of the IMO said that the new agreement should set a “positive tone” for upcoming negotiations around a new GP contract.
“We don’t underestimate the challenge ahead in trying to secure vital resources and support for a fit-for-purpose modern GP contract but if we don’t move ahead now and get much needed resources into general practice we can have no hope of moving care into a GP led community setting which we know is better for the patient.”
The Minister for Health Simon Harris said that the addition of the vaccines to the Primary Childhood Immunisation Programme would make “further improvements to public health”.
“I am also pleased that I have the support of GPs to deliver it and I want to thank the IMO for their engagement on delivering this Programme.
“I look forward to continued positive and constructive dialogue with the IMO and GPs, in particular in relation to the development of a new and modernised GP contract”.
The news was also welcomed by the ICGP, with Dr Mark Murphy ICGP Chair of Communications calling it a “good day for children, parents, preventative healthcare and general practice”.
The NAGP praised the IMO for its “tenacity” in making the agreement.
“The NAGP campaigned for the introduction of the Meningococcal B vaccine and were disappointed in the lack of engagement by the HSE with GP representative bodies,” said Dr Emmet Kerin, NAGP President,
“I commend the IMO on the tenacity with which they pursued the timely delivery of this life-saving vaccine and ensuring the adequate resourcing of this additional service”.
All babies born on, or after, the 1 October 2016 will receive vaccines for Meningococcal B (Men B) and Rotavirus disease in addition to the other childhood vaccines currently given.
The first doses of these vaccines are given at two months of age, which means that the first babies are due to begin receiving these vaccines from the beginning of December.