The President of the IMO has welcomed GPs voting in favour of the IMO’s €210 million deal with the Government but has cautioned that this must be viewed in the context of a first step towards the development of a fully resourced GP service.
Dr Padraig McGarry said that the results of the ballot of IMO members, which was announced today (Wednesday), showed that 95 per cent of GP members of the IMO across the country supported the IMO GP deal, which encompasses a full reversal of the FEMPI cuts as well as additional funds to introduce the management of chronic disease for GMS patients in general practice.
“This is a crucial first step for GPs and their patients in terms of delivering on the potential of general practice,” he said. “Our fight for greater investment in general practice and the further development of services continues, and we hope that Government now recognise the enormous value of general practice and will support new investment into the future. General practice was decimated during the years of austerity and this agreement is not a pay increase but a restoration of that funding.”
Dr McGarry stressed that issues remained to be negotiated with the Government, including its aim of providing free GP care for children up to the age of 12 by 2022. He added that there are very significant negotiations required in relation to appropriate services to patients in nursing homes. “It is clear that we have only scratched the surface when it comes to supporting GPs and encouraging our younger GPs to stay and establish in Ireland, so while we welcome this important first step we must ensure that the Government continues to support and develop a viable GP service which is proven to be better for patients and value for money for the taxpayer.”
The IMO GP deal has resulted in €210 million in increased funding for GPs over the coming years. Of this total, €120 million represents the reversal of the controversial Fempi cuts of 2015 (plus €10 million in pension contributions). A further €80 million has been secured for the management of GMS patients with chronic disease in the community.