The difference of opinion arose following the publication of a statement by the NAGP as the number of people on trolleys hit a record level of 714 patients on 12 March.
The Association’s statement maintained that the long-term solution to the trolley crisis was “a new integrated community care system driven by GPs and not just more beds”.
“Extra hospital beds is just one element, the other is supporting the transformation of the healthcare model. It is now a priority that we have integration of care, coordination of care and access to care around a GP-led primary care model,” read the statement.
In response, IMO GP Committee Chairperson Dr Pádraig McGarry stated on Twitter: “The trolley crisis will not be solved by general practice in the short-term – these are patients whose treatment requirements necessitate secondary level care, which is outside the scope of GPs – should not conflate the issues of failing general practice with this.”
Former IMO President GP Dr Ray Walley agreed and tweeted: “It is disingenuous and I believe dangerous to present GPs as a solution to patients who need acute beds #reverseFEMPI.”
However, NAGP President Dr Emmet Kerin took issue with the views expressed and further outlined the Association’s position.
“Long-term part of a solution as in the press release, no doubt we are under capacity with acute beds. A bit over the top Ray to say disingenuous, correct me if I am wrong in saying the @IMO_IRL have more recently supported a GP-led primary care? Let’s work together #reverseFEMPI.”