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IMO and health officials in ‘intense’ GP negotiations

The Medical Independent (MI) understands that this engagement was to comprise rounds of three-day talks, whereas prior to this, the parties had been meeting about once a week during the negotiations.

Minister for Health Simon Harris has said publicly he intends to reach agreement with GPs by Christmas in relation to a new GP contract.

The IMO has also confirmed that both sides have “time limited” this round of talks to the end of the year.

The Organisation has warned members that talks would be “challenging” and “some of what is being asked of GPs may not be viable”.

“If the ask from the Department of Health is too significant, the IMO will consider our position at that point in consultation with the membership,” IMO GP Chairperson Dr Pádraig McGarry said in a communication to members.

Speaking last week to MI, Dr McGarry said that “a robust exchange of views” had taken place but that “it is early days yet” on whether any agreement would be reached.

GPs remain increasingly frustrated at the lack of action by Government in reversing the FEMPI cuts to general practice.

The NAGP has criticised the Government for failing to enter talks on a new GP contract with its representatives and has called on the Department to engage with it to help repair general practice.

Meanwhile, both the IMO and NAGP have criticised the HSE’s recent publication of payments to GP practices. The IMO described the move as “misleading and unhelpful”, while the NAGP expressed its disappointment that “the HSE has released these grossly-misleading figures”.

The HSE said it had a “legal obligation” under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 to release the records.

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