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The statement was released following a meeting of the committee last night. The backdrop is the continuing controversy over the under-sixes contract .
“The GP Committee recognise the need for all GPs to be free to make an individual decision on this matter bearing in mind their individual practice circumstances and the IMO call on all parties to respect the nature of that individual decision,” read the statement.
“For its part the IMO remains committed to providing a factual and honest assessment of the agreements and the financial impact. We have held group and individual meetings with members and listened carefully to the very real concerns that are out there.”
The committee then reiterated pronouncements it made earlier this week regarding a series of clarifications it got from the HSE and the Department of Health regarding the contract.
“Patient Registration System will go live in early June – in effect this means that GPs have until 5th June to sign the contract if they wish to be on the database from which the new cohort of patients will choose a doctor,” read the statement.
“ For those GPs who choose not to sign the contract their existing Under Six Medical Card patients will stay with them during the summer months but will be paid at the old rate.
“For those GPs who do choose to sign the contract their existing Under Six GMS patients will remain with them at the new enhanced rate and there will be no change of doctor unless requested by the patient.”
The IMO also said according to its clarification that the contract would mean no change in practice hours and no new obligation in terms of data protection.
“The GP Committee of the IMO reiterate once again that this agreement is not the panacea for the crisis in General Practice and it is only a first step. The IMO agree that the level of funding within the wider healthcare system is wholly inadequate and have long campaigned for increased and realistic funding for health. We make no apology for fighting for and securing much needed funding of €75 million into General Practice which has been starved of resources for too long.
“General practice has the potential to truly reform the health services but only through negotiation , proper planning and adequate resources.
“We are committed to this goal and we call on Government to commit to the development of General Practice through the new GP Contract talks.”