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The fund, which sought donations from GPs, raised only €164,000 despite an initial target of €1 million. To date, more than €220,000 has been spent by the NAGP on legal campaigns, legal advice and the injunction against the HSE to prevent removal of patients from the panel of GPs who did not sign the under-sixes contract, according to the statement.
“In light of recent questions by a number of members on social media platforms we have commissioned an independent audit and statement of affairs in relation to the legal fund which will be presented at the NAGP AGM,” outlined NAGP CEO Mr Chris Goodey in the statement.
The Association’s AGM is due to take place in Cork this week (23-24 March). The NAGP carried out four campaigns over two years, including legal preparation against the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission; a campaign to highlight competition law; the aforementioned injunction proceedings against the HSE; and nationwide roadshows regarding the under-sixes contract.
“The preparation process and the legal actions along with the campaigns were extremely expensive and as such we felt it was necessary to raise a fighting fund of €1 million to support our endeavours. This was the estimate suggested by William Fry solicitors needed to fight a High Court case. We fell well short of this, raising only €164,000,” it outlined.
However, the statement added that “despite the fact that the NAGP were unsuccessful in the injunction against the HSE, to date, no patients have been removed from any GP who didn’t sign the under-sixes contract”.
Meanwhile, in another statement to members, the NAGP revealed that it was owed €174,000 in outstanding membership fees at the end of 2017. The figure was “in line with our standard invoicing and cash flow schedule”.
The statement further advised that the NAGP “does not own other companies which contribute to our balance sheet” and it does not accept any contributions from the HSE.
Between April 2017 and March 2018, the NAGP received approximately €80,000 in pharmaceutical and “other service provider” sponsorship.
The money is used to cover the cost of meetings and roadshows, it said.