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Anger as GPs hit with GMS payment delays

By Mindo - 09th Mar 2020

The HSE has been strongly criticised by GPs after it issued a notice advising of payment delays for claims made through the GMS.

In a recent email notice to GPs in parts of Dublin, the HSE Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS) advised that “due to unforeseen circumstances the primary care unit is currently managing at a reduced level of resources”.

“Therefore, any claims you may have submitted to the office relating to palliative care, medical indemnity, and maternity and infant will be processed in due course, however, you may experience some delays in receiving your payments for same.”

The notice, shared on social media by Dublin GP Dr Nina Byrnes, included an apology for these delays.

Dr Byrnes told the Medical Independent (MI) that practices have staff and suppliers that cannot wait to be paid “in due course”. She said this was not the first time she had encountered payment delays.

The GP said she was still awaiting payment for maternity claims going back as far as 2017. She said she was also owed “tens of thousands” in special type consultation payments since July 2019.

According to Dr Byrnes, she had contacted the PCRS several times, but had not received a response on when the claims will be paid.

“This is very frustrating. We’re a small business with no cash reserves and we need to be paid,” she told MI.

GPs on social media heavily criticised the PCRS measure, with one labelling it “appalling”.

A spokesperson for the Executive told this newspaper: “The HSE communicate with GMS GPs regularly. This email was part of a regular communication to all GMS GPs in north Dublin.

“We are working to ensure that payments are paid as promptly and effectively as possible.

“If a GP has any question about payments, we would advise them to contact our office directly, as per usual.”

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