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Speaking this afternoon, Minister Varadkar said the FEMPI cuts “have to be reversed….at a certain point the financial emergency ends”, but the situation would not revert to the “status quo”.
Minister Varadkar said that, with the full reversal of the FEMPI cuts, the public, taxpayer and patient would “have to be getting something back for it”. In that regard, the under-six contract was a “very good model”.
Some €454 million in cuts have hit general practice in the four years to the end of 2014,
He said talks would begin soon on a wider GP contract. “The Government’s preference is that the next group should be other school children and also other chronic disease groups…we are very keen that anything is done with the agreement of GPs and we are open to your suggestions as to how the next phases should be done.”
Minister Varadkar also revealed that he has asked Fine Gael colleague Dr Liam Twomey TD to engage with GPs and practice managers to find out what difficulties are arising with the PCRS. He said Dr Twomey will then meet PCRS to “try and iron out some of those issues”