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Speaking in response to the motion, Cork GP Dr Mary Favier said it was important that the College aims at all times for unity within the profession and it would be “foolish and short-sighted” to prioritise having discussions with one representative body over the other.
“That requires the College to work with the NAGP, and is seen to acknowledge the NAGP as much as the IMO,” Dr Favier said.
“I speak as an IMO member, not an NAGP member because we have to remember that 1,400 GPs are now members of the NAGP. They are not going away. It is, I think, foolish and short-sighted for the College to not be seen to engage with a very broad membership, which I think is substantially younger GPs as well.”
Dr Favier added that the College has to have a “plan B” in the event that a significant number of GPs do not sign the under-sixes contract, which is the argument currently being articulated by the NAGP.
Chair of the ICGP Dr Mary Sheehan said in reply that the ICGP does hold discussions with the NAGP as well as the IMO and does not differentiate between the two groups.
Galway GP Dr Peter Sloane said that given the challenges facing general practice, it was vital that all representative bodies work closely together.
“We had a faculty meeting in Galway last week and the single strongest message that came from that meeting was that people in Galway want the profession to work together,” Dr Sloane said.
“We will whole-heartedly support this motion, it is an excellent motion.”
The motion was proposed by the Cork Faculty of the College.