The option has been facilitated in the contract to encourage as many GPs as possible to provide the new service. This is amid concerns expressed by some GPs about protests outside their practices if they decide to offer ToP services.
According to the contract, the HSE plans to draw-up a list of names and contact details of GPs who offer ToP services for “patient information and service accessibility purposes”.
However, the contract added that “if you would not like to be included on this list, please tick the box”.
In such cases, where a medical practitioner was not on the public list, their information would instead be provided to members of the public that contacted the ToP helpline, it is understood.
The contract also outlined the fees payable for the service, which includes €150 for the patient’s first consultation, €300 for the combined termination procedure and aftercare, and €100 for the provision of aftercare where a patient has received a ToP service in a hospital and been discharged to the community setting.
Any GP who later wishes to withdraw from providing ToP services must give three months’ notice, according to the contract.
Expressions of interest in providing the service are being received by the HSE and an estimate on the number of providers is expected in mid-December.
Meanwhile, NAGP President Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail has expressed concern about the proposed service, saying there was still a lack of clarity surrounding the provision of after-hours care and ultrasonography.
He also highlighted huge frustration among GPs at an inequity in fees for abortion services, which are much higher than for other GP services, such as antenatal care.
Dr Ó Tuathail said GPs were “just not a priority” for Government, with the reversal of FEMPI cuts remaining unaddressed and a new GP contract yet to be realised.
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