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The last President of the NAGP has described himself as “personally gutted” by the demise of the Association.
It was recently announced that the NAGP had entered into voluntary liquidation. Prior to this development, in late April, the then President Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail and the entire NAGP National Council resigned due to serious concerns about the Association’s “internal governance”.
“The first thing to say is that I am no longer involved, so I am no longer a spokesperson for the NAGP,” Dr Ó Tuathail told the Medical Independent (MI).
“But I am personally gutted that the organisation is gone and I think it is a sad day for general practice, that’s the way I would put it.
“I certainly consider it an incredibly sad day. The NAGP I think had done a huge amount of good. It had a large number of members; at its height 2,000 GPs. I think it provided hope for a lot of GPs. I was at the [GP] protest in February. I think that was an incredibly important day for general practice.
“I think there are a lot of battles still to be fought, and it was an incredibly sad day for general practice [that the NAGP] is no more.”
On the recent GP deal negotiated between the IMO and Government, Dr Ó Tuathail said: “I haven’t seen the text of the document, but I think it is certainly a first step.”
He raised concerns over the “lack of locums”, onerous out-of-hours commitments, and the lack of access to diagnostics for GPs.
“I feel it is the first step, I’m hoping it is not the end. I would look at it hopefully as a first step of a [many] step process but we certainly need to address the issue of out-of-hours commitments in rural Ireland and the inability of GPs to take leave, because if those issues aren’t addressed I don’t think we are going to see a massive change in general practice over the next five years. But it [the deal] is very welcome.”
Dr Ó Tuathail was speaking to MI for a broader interview about a paper he co-authored on attitudes of final year medical students to general practice.