The first question was “should the NAGP recommend to its members to revise their existing participation in the out of hours services commensurate with patient safety concerns and to comply with existing European directive on hours worked by doctors?”
The ballot was taken by SMS and there were 1,830 messages delivered. There were 798 responses to this ballot question, with 670 ‘yes’ votes, 118 ‘no’ votes and 10 spoiled votes.
Therefore, 84 per cent of respondents were in favour of revising their existing participation in the out of hours service.
The NAGP has repeatedly called on the HSE to take “corrective action” in relation to patient safety and doctor health, only for the calls to be ignored. In anticipation of an upcoming report from the HSE on the revision of the out of hours service, the NAGP said it again calls on the HSE to “take clear and decisive corrective action to directly address these issues”.
The NAGP said the issues of patient safety and doctors’ health are key contributory factors to the “ever deepening crisis in general practice”.
Mr Chris Goodey, CEO of the NAGP, commented, “We sought a mandate from members with regard to patient safety, doctors’ health and the provision of out of hours care and we received an overwhelming response to the first ballot – we now have that mandate and appropriate recommendations and actions will be discussed at our AGM in four weeks’ time.”
This result, along with the results of the next two ballot questions, will be discussed by members at the NAGP Annual General Meeting on 2-3 March at the Clayton Silver Springs Hotel in Cork.