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NAGP Council in shock resignation over governance concerns

The President of the NAGP and the entire NAGP National Council have resigned due to serious concerns about the Association’s “internal governance”. 

In a shock announcement to its GP members on Sunday evening, the 11 member National Council, which includes the now former president Dr Maitiu Ó Tuathail, communicated that they had tendered their resignation to NAGP directors. 

Their departure comes amid ongoing concern about governance at the NAGP and follows a number of resignations in 2018. 

The CEO Mr Chris Goodey and company directors remain in place despite the resignations and are to continue offering support to GPs. 

As previously reported by the Medical Independent (MI), abridged financial statements for the NAGP for the year ending 31 March 2018  revealed a deficit of more than €114,000. 

The figure represented a significant increase based on financial statements for the end of March 2017, which showed a deficit of €33,000.  

The statement to membership, seen by MI, stated that at last year’s AGM concerns were raised about the NAGP’s governance. 

“Following this, the National Council commissioned a Governance Report from Ampersand, which recommended a new governance structure for the organisation, and we had begun that journey,” the statement read. 

“Subsequently, serious issues of internal governance were brought to the attention of the National Council and the Directors of the NAGP.

“Significant efforts were made to resolve these issues through a process of renewal, transparency, and accountability. We regret and apologise to our members, that this was not achieved. As a result, the National Council, whose role is advisory, have tendered their resignation to the directors.”

The statement concluded: “We believe in general practice, our membership and above all in integrity. We plan to continue to support you and will issue further correspondence soon”. 

In a separate statement from the NAGP, also issued to members on Sunday evening, the organisation said the directors, who include Drs Jim Stacey, Andy Jordan and Chris O’Rourke, would “strive to ensure a rescue package will be in place within the next two weeks which will facilitate the continuation of the organisation and implement the recently commissioned governance report”. 

The above was the only reference to governance in the statement, which also referred to the recent GP deal brokered between the IMO and Department of Health. 

The NAGP criticised the Government for failing to allow it to sit at the “negotiating table” and claimed the IMO and Department enjoy “a cosy relationship which in effect could be considered illegal state aid”. 

In reference to ongoing financial challenges, the statement noted: “Many GPs are waiting to see the details of the new offer [IMO GP deal] before they renew their membership subscription. This has created financial difficulties for the NAGP.”

The NAGP added a report on health and safety of GPs would be released this week. 

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