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ICGP — no comment on criticism of Vhi partnership

The ICGP will make no comment on some strong online criticism of its new structured care plan with the Vhi, this newspaper has been told. Before the end of 2019, the ICGP announced that the College and the Vhi had a new structured care programme for diabetes patients in selected GP practices in Ireland. The College said this programme “fully aligns” with national policy on chronic disease management (CDM) and the extension of community-based care models. As part of the programme, Vhi customers in selected areas with type 2 diabetes, or who are at risk of diabetes, will attend for regular check-ups to monitor their condition and help reduce complications. However, the announcement received some criticism online from doctors, including GP and former ICGP Chair of Communications, Dr Mark Murphy.

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“Obviously a big fan of @ICGPnews, but this is a major policy pivot for Irish healthcare, which has had no debate and with definite ramifications,” Dr Murphy tweeted ( @DrMarkMurphy). Noting some of the ramifications, Dr Murphy wrote: “Private insurance-funded care formalised as a policy within general practice. Wasn’t agreed through the union for GPs. This is not in the #slaintecare model of phased publicly-funded entitlements for our population. Another covert policy, which has come out of left-field.”

The Medical Independent (MI) put Dr Murphy’s concerns to the ICGP. A College spokesperson replied: “The College is making no comment on this.”

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