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Doctors highlighting ‘sectional concerns’ — Róisín Shortall

The Committee’s all-party, 10-year plan for health was published last month and aspects of the report generated lukewarm-to-negative responses from medical representative bodies.

However, Deputy Shortall said the criticism was expected and may be linked to negotiations and “sectional concerns”.

“I must say, I think [reaction to Sláintecare] has been quite positive. There has been criticism obviously from the usual sources and where you would expect it from,” Deputy Shortall told the Medical Independent (MI). “And I think part of the problem [in terms of reactions] is that there are negotiations just underway in relation to the GP contract.  Also, I can see how consultants wouldn’t be very keen on what we are proposing. I think both of those groups are using the opportunity to highlight some of their sectional concerns.”

However, Deputy Shortall said she was pleased by wider reactions to the plan.

“Apart from that, I think it has been very warmly received by the public generally and by patient groups in particular and people working in the health policy area.”

The Dáil is due to debate the report this week and Deputy Shortall said it must ensure that the strategy is taken on by the new Cabinet.

 “That agreement has been achieved at a political level in terms of the most appropriate health system we need in the country — a universal, single-tier health system. That is an historic change in the country’s approach to healthcare.”

See further coverage of Sláintecare on pages 4-5, 6, 8, 19

  1. William Behan on June 29, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Can I suggest that Roisín is being economical with the thruth and GP “sectional concerns” are really concerned adn knowledgible front line professionals concerns about TCD informed, politically directed barking mad healthcare policy.

    Healthcare and funding general practice

    Sir, – Recent healthcare reports have all promoted the value of decanting hospital activity into general practice and the need to resource such a workload transfer.

    The reality is that general practice workload has become a lot more complex over the last two decades, and hospital support has become more patchy. However, we have maintained high standards on direct measurement of meaningful national general practice quality markers. That would include the very low proportion of undiagnosed diabetics in the community, and a continuity of care available to Irish patients that is only aspirational in countries with more corporate general practice structures. Also, the Irish emergency department attendance rate per capita is only 60 per cent of the UK rate, which would be a surrogate marker of the quality of Irish general practice. This is despite the UK general practice being funded with approximately twice the share of the national health budget compared to Ireland.

    Worryingly, the increased debate about general practice over the last decade has been polluted by an exaggeration of the general practice public and private funding. Until the 2015 Healthy Ireland and separate Central Statistics Office reports on general practice workload were produced, the then-government was working off patient visiting figures that were half that general practices were experiencing.

    In reality, Irish general practice funding has reduced from 4.9 per cent of the total health budget in 2000 to 3.6 per cent in the recently produced 2015 national health accounts. GPs believe that the money is certainly not following the patient, but it appears to be resourcing an increasingly bloated bureaucracy. –

    Yours, etc,

    Walkinstown Primary
    Care Centre, Dublin 12.

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