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The union recently had a meeting with Minister Simon Harris about the delay in the negotiations.
“The IMO informed the Minister that we were unhappy with the delay in the contract discussions,” an IMO spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI).
“The Minister stated that there would be a stakeholders conference on primary care to take place [in October in advance of actual contract negotiations].
“Given the serious and systemic underfunding of general practice in recent years, it is unacceptable that we are still waiting for a completed GP contract that will allow a modern, effective, and evidence-based service to be delivered to patients by their GPs.”
The Minister recently announced that the NAGP would be included in future contract discussions and the NAGP has written to the IMO asking to meet before formal negotiations recommence.
“Yes, we have written to the IMO and we are currently optimistic that they will meet with us in advance of the negotiations. A lot of talk is happening behind the scenes. I think both organisations fully understand the future of general practice is at stake,” NAGP CEO Mr Chris Goodey told MI.
“It is important from all GPs’ perspectives, and Government perspective, that we all work together for the betterment of general practice and patient care.”
A Department of Health spokesperson said that the Minister is anxious to see talks “taking place within the coming weeks”.
“In order to ensure that primary healthcare will be enhanced for our citizens by a new contract for general practice services, the Minister is currently considering a number of options around the next phase of this process, including the most appropriate arrangements for GP and other primary healthcare providers’ engagement,” a Department spokesperson told MI.
“This will help to determine the timelines for the next formal engagement with GP representatives, which the Minister is anxious to see taking place within the coming weeks.”